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Cfie ilftaking of ^ersuinaUtp 

The M«itog rf Pewwoi^ I 

^ OF PAN, Definiti;. Edition. 

red «d buck o^'SS.ap'^-*-' 
The .ame, full cnwhedlewnt. 

"fdfcrNEW Yo:;i: 


50 when art would embody in beauty the idea of 
triumph without wearineu, of glad elation untouched 
by^ envious defeat, of high intelligence overcoming 
the barbarous and base, — when it would add to the fairest 
human loneliness sorr»e hint of superhuman power and do- 
minion over a region more oast than earth, — // created the 
Victory of the Wings, to be a lasting signal before our 
wondering eyes, and an incentive to that dignity of bearing 
which we behold only in the rarest personalities. " 

(5ee pagt 102.) 




9( 1908 L 

Copyright, tqo6y tqoj 
By Thb Ess Ess Publishing Company 


Copyright, iqo6, igoy 
By Gustav Stickley 

Copyright, igo^ 
By The Butterick Pubushing Co., Ltix 

Copyright, igoS^ 
By L. C. Page & Company 


Ail rights reserved 

First impressioD, March, 1908 


BUctrotyptd and Printtd by C. H, Si$momdi 6* C#. 

Bottom, U.S.A. 

Cjie ilfteasfttte of iEan 

Hi who espouses perfection 
Must follow the threefold plan 
Of soul and mind and body^ 
To compass the stature of man. 

For deep in the primal substance 
With power and purpose and poise j • 
An order under the chaos^ 
A music beneath the noise j — 

The urge of a secret patience 
Throbbed into rhythm andform^ 
Till instinct attained to vision 
And the sentient clay grew warm. 

For sense was a smouldering fire^ 
And spirit a breath of air 
Blowing out of the darkness^ 
Fostering reason* s flare. 

By loving^ learnings and doings 
Being must pass and climb 
To goodness^ to truth^ to beauty j 
Through energy^ space ^ and time ; 

C^tlt ff^tMUtf Of Jll«tl 

Out of the infinite essenciy 
For the eternal employ y 
Fashioningj/reeingj and kindling 
Symmetry^ wisdom^ and joy. 

Wherefore the triune dominion^ — 
Religion J science^ and artj — 
We may not disrupt nor dividiy 
Setting its kingdoms apart j 

But ever with glowing ardour 
After the ancient plan^ 
Build the lore and the rapture 
Into the life of man. 



There was never a time, perhaps, bigger 
with spiritual promise than the present, nor 
more strenuously eager to liberate the human 
spirit for its next step forward in the arduous 
and inspiring journey toward perfection and 
happiness. The cause enlists the best work 
of the best workers against just such odds as 
have always confronted radical effort, but 
with less stubborn resistance than in duller 

Among the active forces of advance are the 
thought and work of Mary Perry King, my 
coworker in this study of The Making of 
Personality. Her formulation of an art of 
normalizing personal expression is original 
and scientific, and of proven educational 



value. From her luminous talks on the sub- 
jects of these essays, and on the humanities 
in general, has been taken the substance of 
this book and of others that have appeared 
within the last decade. Refusing joint sig- 
nature on the title-page, Mrs. King's pref- 
erence restricts my expression of obligation 
to a most inadequate prefatory acknowledg- 
ment. I welcome even this tardy and too 
limited opportunity for signifying my appre- 
ciation of her happy genius and my indebted- 
ness for her wise and generous cooperation. 
The first chapter indicates, as clearly as I 
can make it, the scope and purpose of the vol- 
ume and its underlying ideal of education and 
personal culture. While the book does not 
attempt to make any systematic presentation 
of a philosophy (a task to which I am un- 
equal), it will be found to indicate every- 
where a triune ideal of normal well-being 
and happiness, and to be based upon a definite 
conception of symmetrical life and growth, — 

a conception which attributes to aspiration, 


effort, and education equal and coherent val- 

The paths of mental and spiritual training 
are well marked, and physical education itself 
is growing rapidly in popularity and effi- 
ciency, but the work of relating the three in 
any coordinate personal culture has as yet 
hardly been recognized as a desirability. 
Such work at its best cannot be merely a pro- 
fession, it is essentially a most subtle and com- 
prehensive art, — the art of appreciating, in- 
terpreting, and educating personality. 

This triunistic or unitrinian philosophy, as 
I find myself calling it to avoid a confusing 
use of the word trinitarian, lends itself most 
simply and practically as a standard of dis- 
crimination and a guide in self-culture. 

B. C. 

Boston, Fihruary^ /^. 






The Meaning of Personality . , • i 


The Undciglow . 

• 43 


The Lucky Pilot 

. S8 


The Winged Virtoiy . 

• 73 


The Silver String _ . 

. 104 


Rhythms of Grace 



Beauty of the Foot 



The Art of Walking . 



Dancing as a Fine Art . 



The Music of Life 



The Sorcciy of the Hand 



The Leaven of Art 



Designer and Builder . 



The Might of Manners • 



The Use of Out-of-Doors 



The Dominion of Joy . 



The Growers 



An Old-Fashioned Essence 



Genius and the Artist • 


%1)t ilteanins of ^etdonaltt? 

There is still nothing more interesting 
than personality. Selves are all that finally 
count. To discerning modem eyes all of life 
is a mere setting for the infinitely intense and 
enthralling drama of personalities. We slave 
and endure and dare and give ourselves to the 
engrossing demands of business and affairs, 
deluding ourselves for the hour with the no- 
tion that mere activity ensures success, and 
that deliberate achievement, if only it be 
strenuous enough, will bring happiness. But 
in moments of calm sanity we perceive our 


SUf iWaltfng of l^ttuonmts 

folly, and know full well that personality and 
not performance is the great thing. 

Current thought attests this. Popular as- 
piration passionately alfHrms it. Whatever 
any one's philosophy of living may be, 
whether transcendental or materialistic, the 
first and chief concern in its pursuance is how 
to make the most of it in making the most 
and best of oneself. All our social disquiet, 
our constant turmoil in political and indus- 
trial life, means only an attempt to give 
larger freedom! and greater scope for the per- 
fection of human personality. We would 
give it room to grow, opportunity to thrive, 
the chance to realize its ideals. Under the 
stress of a divine evolutionary impulse, we 
wish to disentangle personality from the 
crushing monotony of mere circumstantial 
mechanical existence. Man is not willing to 
remain an automaton, but must somehow 
achieve and vindicate an individual selfhood. 
We feel sure that it is to this end that we were 
created^ and to this end surely all progress 

Stif ilKatiftig of M^tt»onuUt9 

is seen to be tending. The seed of the gods, 
sown in the dust of the ground, exerts its in- 
finitesimal but mighty force to break from its 
enveloping darkness and put forth at last the 
perfect long-awaited flower of mankind. 

Not only is this the urge underlying our 
instinctive, tentative, and often irrational ef- 
forts for the reform and betterment of insti- 
tutions, but underlying the demand for better 
individual education among thinking and 
cultivated people as well. Our modern plays 
and novels all centre about the values of 
personality, the influence of personality, the 
freedom of personality, the development, tri- 
umph, or defeat, of personality. When be- 
fore our own day were such cold psycholog- 
ical problems as Ibsen's offered and accepted 
as entertainment? Even such expositions as 
Marie Bashkirtseff's and Mary MacLane's 
are accepted as frank statements of truth, 
" human documents " that may help to gain 
freedom for other personalities. 

Of old, men were more engulfed in nature, 


sue iWaltfno of J$tt»onultip 

more deeply embedded in subconsciousness 
and dreams, more completely under the dom- 
ination of superstitions, fears, and marvels, 
and felt themselves more helplessly in the 
hands of an inscrutable destiny which they 
could neither conquer nor placate. The 
mere fact of general existence was a lifelong 
and perplexing wonder. There was neither 
time nor light for the recognition and realiza- 
tion of self. Then, too, there were more ex- 
ternal dangers, wars, famines, pestilences, 
which made men cling together, repressing 
individuality. With greater peace and as- 
surance of subsistence, tribal ties and obliga- 
tions were loosened, and the individual awoke 
and put forth hungry self-conscious claims 
for growth. It was not enough to be a frac- 
tion, one must be an integer. And to-day that 
thought, that aim, is the one supreme motive 
force underlying our civilization, — the 
emancipation and cultivation of personal- 
In personal culture, that great task which 

Stif ilKiinftig of l$tvuon9lit9 

confronts us all, and to which many of us 
apply ourselves with so much impetuous fer- 
vour and persistence, there is one supreme 
truth to be constantly remembered, the three- 
fold nature of personality, and consequently 
its threefold perfectability in the different 
but inseparable realms of spirit, mind, and 

In cultivating personality, it is impossible 
to disregard the person. For the person of 
every man and woman is not merely the shell 
and tenement wherein the spirit dwells, but 
the very substance and fibre of personality. 
Walt Whitman said of his book, "Who 
touches this, touches a man." As truly we 
may say of any human body, " Who touches 
this, touches a soul." When my friend lays 
his hand upon my shoulder, it is my very 
most intimate self that must respond, not 
merely this flesh and blood whose form and 
features are recognizable in my name. The 
culture of personality, therefore, is a very 
complex and subtle process. It is not accom- 


Stif iWaltftiff of ns^ttnonuutp 

plished by the acquiring of knowledge and 
the adoption of morality alone^ but by every 
moment's life of the body, — every deed, 
every word, every gesture, — by the delib- 
erate training of exercise and regimen, by the 
long course of habitual occupation, and by 
every brief act of each irrevocable instant. 
We not only transform our outward bodily 
persons by what we are, making them simu- 
lacra of our inmost selves, but in sober truth 
our most essential selves are in their turn re- 
flexly transformed by the reacting influence 
of our physical habits and doings. If a 
crabbed and malign soul makes its inevitable 
appearance in the face, just so truly does the 
habitual cultivation of a gracious and con- 
siderate demeanour tend inevitably to erad- 
icate those unhappy conditions of spirit. To 
forget this power of the body upon the mind 
and spirit, is to leave one-half of the re- 
sources of education untried and miss half of 
the opportunity of this too brief life. A 
cheap and shallow religious optimism may 


sue iWf atiftig of l^t t»o»alft9 

bemuse itself with idle ecstasies^ but it has yet 
to demonstrate its ability to support life with- 
out food and impart perennial vigour to the 
mind. Dreams and aspirations are the nat- 
ural output of the human soul, but nutrition 
and hygiene are its proper and inevitable 
sources of vitality. Only by the careful use 
of these modest means, and not otherwise, can 
we detach ourselves from our mother ground 
and go about our rational activities in this 
perplexing world. 

The long playing of a role like Hamlet, if 
it be well enacted, works so insidiously upon 
the spirit of the actor as to become a formid- 
able danger. No conscientious actor could 
repeat the performance of such a role as Dr. 
Jekyl and Mr. Hyde through an extended 
run, without incurring grave responsibilities 
to himself ; while the portrayal of the charac- 
teristic habits of Rosalind, on the other hand, 
acts as an irresistible nervous tonic; so in- 
eradicably is the spirit joined to the kindly 
clay in which it was begotten. So, too, the 

SUf iWaltftig of M^ttuonuUip 

persistent punchings and pommellings of 
some forms of exercise strengthen not only 
the habits of physical violence, but deeper 
lying habits of aggression and pugnacity as 
well. And it is clearly recognized that these 
manly arts must require and inculcate a code 
of manly honour and fair play, in order to 
maintain our respect. When they fail to do 
this, they become brutal and brutalizing at 
once, and lose favour even with the most un- 
cultivated of their devotees. The pugilist's 
necessary self-control extends to the soul be- 
hind the fist, and habitual grace of conduct 
appreciably forestalls and discourages gross 
desires. The enforced gymnastic of some 
gracious expression, if imposed on naughty 
children, is a more fruitful corrective than 
most forms of punishment. If gymnastics in 
good motion were given to criminals, it 
would prove more reformative than most 
moral suasion, for it would be more deep and 
instinctive; it would be as if we should pro- 
vide them with the mechanism of escape from 


Sl^e g»ttMinii of m^ttuonnUts 

the evil aptitudes in which they are impris- 

Both fundamentally and throughout in- 
finite intricacies of subdivisions, the making 
of personality has its threefold requirement 
and procedure, and must depend on definite 
training in morality, intelligence, and phy- 1 \ 
sique. A realization of this triune composi- ' 
tion of our being and its consequent threefold 
need of nurture and symmetrical growth, is 
the most auspicious beginning of culture. It 
weeds out all false pride in partial excellence 
and special accomplishment; it does away 
with mistaken prejudices as to overdevelop- 
ment and underdevelopment in any direction 
at the cost of general symmetry; and substi- 
tutes a standard of normal growth with equi- 
librium of powers, for one of excessive and 
exceptional cultivation and specialization. 
When once accepted as a criterion of per- 
sonal culture, it affords the most helpful basis 
for self-examination, and for the selection of 
whatever kind of reinforcement one may 


Sl^e Rafting of l$ttnontait» 

most need at any given moment; it indicates 
the most serviceable adjustment of conditions, 
and the most valuable utilization of circum- 
stances. It is a magic formula which turns 
everything into grist for the mills of life, is 
a remedy for hardship and a cure for de- 

Inasmuch as we must both get and give our 
impressions of personality through its phys- 
ical expressions, and as this fact is very gen- 
erally underestimated, it may not be amiss to 
emphasize it. The physical side of person- 
ality offers a medium of transmission for rea- 
son and impulse, and at the same time is the 
only soil and substance through which the 
spiritual and intellectual live and are rein- 
forced. This surely seems sufficient reason 
for making an appropriate and adequate 
physical education one of the bases for the 
culture of personality, — a culture which 
may be begun in childhood long before self- 
consciousness dawns or conscience makes it- 
self known. 


Si^e in eatifng of l^etsonaltts 

The making of personality begins with 
learning to breathe and move. 

'* How Nature first made throb 
Her atoms in the void," 

we do not know, nor how the reasoning soul 
takes on the restlessness of matter. These are 
among the mysteries, but we know very well 
that even before birth the human personality 
begins to be moulded by parental will; and 
that in childhood the form and features, and 
habits of motion, are modified and moulded 
as the mind and emotional nature assert them- 
selves in the plastic little bodies. Then, of 
course, is the time to safeguard and foster 
natural and right methods of breathing and 
motion. Uinfortunately we have small habit 
of doing that, and modern life imposes wrong 
and unnatural habits on the child almost im- 
perceptibly, and days of labour under unfa- 
vourable conditions and at highly specialized 
industries come to further arrest and distort 
the growth of the young and impressionable 


Si^e in arttftig of l$ttnoviulit» 

physique. All the main activities of modem 
life, most of its industries and nearly all busi- 
ness and professional vocations, are carried 
on under conditions so far removed from the 
primitive circumstances of natural living, 
that it is hardly an exaggeration to question 
whether one person in a hundred breathes 
and moves well. So that it is not at all pre- 
posterous, as it might sound at first, to say that 
we need to be taught these rudiments of ani- 
mal existence. The increasing attention we 
are giving to physical culture and voice train- 
ing, far from being superfluous, are of the 
profoundest good, and must in time come to 
form part of all elementary education as a 
matter of course. 

In this, as in other fields of criticism, it is 
only the most perfect and beautiful standards 
that we ought to have always in mind. How- 
ever strong and healthy we may be, there are 
still more noble unfulfilled ambitions for the 
physical perfection of human beauty and be- 
ing than have ever yet been realized. It can- 


not be enough that we should have a goodly 
number of beautiful faces among our women 
and strong bodies among our men, it must 
become our national pride to people the land 
with a more perfect race than the world has 
yet seen. Of what use otherwise are our 
boasted growth and civilization? After all, 
wealth is made for man, not man for wealth. 
And we are undone surely, if our great ad- 
vantages and wonderful achievements cannot 
be assimilated, and do not tend to make us 
generally and individually more healthy, 
more sane, more happy. One may be an un- 
compromising admirer of the age and yet 
perceive heights of perfection before it still 
unattained. Shall we allow it to be truly said 
that another nation is more unselfishly de- 
voted to truth and science than we, or any 
other people more careful of justice than our- 
selves, or that we can be surpassed in our in- 
stinct for beauty and art? Men and women 
who are alive to-day in this still New World 
of unexanfxpled opportunity and resource, can 


Si^e in arttfng of l^tvuonnUts 

scarcely content themselves with any less am- 
bitious task than the accomplishment of unri- 
valled perfection in each and all of these 
three directions. To do that, there can only 
be one method employed, — the blending and 
harmonizing of these three aims into an ideal 
standard of symmetrical human develop- 

That a people like the ancient Greeks 
should have been at the same time devoted to 
the fine arts and enamoured of physical 
beauty, was but natural. The possession of 
taste, the spiritual quality of appreciation 
which made them so finely discriminating in 
matters of art and literature, made them also 
sensitive and fastidious in the matter of hu- 
man beauty. Their eager and plastic intelli- 
gence, and their devotion to all sensible love- 
liness, were manifest in their nobility of per- 
son, and made them give their attention most 
assiduously to the culture of the body. The 
Japanese in our own day are a marked in- 
stance of the same tendency, — a people in 


whom the most highly developed art instinct 
exists side by side with the utmost attention 
to physical training and development The 
two traits are but different manifestations of 
one quality^ — a passion for perfection in all 
the forms and colours which nature may as- 
sume or art create. 

Among Latin peoples there is a like feeling 
for art and sensitiveness to the alluring influ- 
ence of beauty, which often seem almost 
wholly lacking in our more practical and 
stolid race. Perhaps it is only dormant, 
buried under the crushing pall of mediaeval 
religionism laid upon it by our excellent but 
misguided ancestors, or submerged beneath 
the insufferable weight of business and indus- 
trial servitude which we have evolved for 
ourselves. Alert intelligence, prompt and 
capable executive qualities, inventiveness, 
courage, industry, ambition, honesty in deal- 
ing, good nature in conduct, these are all 
traits that make for a cleaner, more whole- 
some life; but without equivalent discrimi- 

Si^e in sftftiji of M^ttnontiUts 

nating taste, — a regard for what may be be- 
coming, pleasing, and beautiful, as well as 
effective, — their command of happiness is 
most insecure, and all our strenuous endeav- 
ours must lead but to doubtful ends and dis- 
appointing achievements. 

Our architecture, our homes, our dress, our 
furniture, our household effects, as well as 
our books, our music, our drama, our statues, 
and our paintings, — all these necessary and 
pleasant things with which we surround our- 
selves must be not only abundant but beauti- 
ful in order to serve all our requirements of 
them. If they surround us in lavish profu- 
sion, but without taste, they are but barbarous 
treasures, exerting a debasing rather than a 
civilizing influence over us. Everjrwherc we 
are beginning to feel this more and more gen- 
erally, and to discredit the cheap and ugly 
products of machine labour, and to perceive 
that art is an inherent quality in all industry 
which is honest. 

Along with this growing appreciation of 

art, this sensitiveness to beauty in all our sur- 
roundings, must come an ever growing care 
for our physical perfection. As we become 
more and more critical of what is ugly in 
things about us, we shall be more easily of- 
fended by any blemish of personal appear- 
ance, any defect in bodily vigour, any inade- 
quacy or awkwardness or insincerity in per- 
sonal expression. It will not seem sufficient 
to us that a man should be possessed of inflex- 
ible integrity and nobility of spirit; we shall 
demand that his nobility and integrity per- 
meate his entire being, and that he bear him- 
self accordingly and present a noble seeming 
to the eyes of the world. Moral perfection 
will not seem enough, while physical perfec- 
tion is lacking. We shall not then ask every 
man merely to be a reputable citizen, we 
shall expect him to be an admirable and cred- 
itable example of physical manhood as well. 
Love of beauty has been held in disrepute 
as a pagan ideal of life with which the less 
we had to do the better. But as we reach a 


Sl^e in 8!tfti0 of 39eir0on«lUs 

juster appreciation of our human needs, it 
takes its place as one of the three requisite 
factors of human character, along with the 
love of truth and the love of goodness. And 
it does not seem that any well-chosen care 
we can bestow on physical education can be 
unimportant or undignified, or that any ele- 
ment of culture is more needful than the per- 
fecting of our bodily powers and the main- 
taining of them in all their normal fitness and 
growing vigour. 

'< Let us not always say, 
' Spite of this flesh to-day 
I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole 1 * 
As the bird wings and sings. 
Let us cry, * All good things 
Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh 
helps souir" 

Physical culture does not emphasize phys- 
ical consciousness. On the contrary it mini- 
mizes it. Just as being well dressed prevents 
one from being conspicuous, so being well 
trained and in good condition physically 
gives one immunity from inordinate, intem- 


Si^e g»tuninfi of ^ttncnulitp 

perate, ill-regulated habits^ and brings us to 
a normal happy state of unselfconscious free- 

While general lack of taste in the art of 
living is only too prevalent, and prevents us 
from being sensitive enough to our physical 
defects, the overstrained and artificial condi- 
tions of modern life tend to aggravate those 
defects and to make it imperative that we 
should carefully reinforce and regulate our 
physical* knowledge and procedure, correct- 
ing faults and supplying ourselves with legit- 
imate standards of human excellence. Such 
growth of ideals and of excellence can only 
be achieved by education and training. And 
in the domain of physical culture as in any 
other, education must begin with the rudi- 
ments. The first rudiment of beauty is 
health, one of the first rudiments of grace is 
a good walk, the first rudiment of a pleasant 
speaking voice is the ability to breathe freely. 

It always seems a little absurd to us grown 
people at first that we should need to learn 


Sl^e in arttftig of iPeirsonaltts 

how to walk, or to breathe, or to speak. We 
protest that these are matters of instinct, that 
we can do everything of the kind much better 
if we are allowed to do it naturally, and that 
if we were to permit ourselves to be instructed 
we should becpme affected and artificial. 
This might be true if we were animals living 
a free and primitive life, or if we were ideal 
humans living a correspondingly free and de- 
veloped life, but we are not. The condi- 
tions under which man attained his bodily 
form and vigour and habits of motion have 
been dangerously modified by civilization, 
and many of the demands which modern life 
lays upon us tend directly to diminish our 
physical perfection and efficiency, rather than 
to foster and help them. There is danger 
that we may lose the natural habits of free, 
spontaneously graceful human motion, be- 
cause of the lessening need and opportunity 
for bodily exertion in many occupations, and 
the demand for cramping and harmful excess 
of highly specialized exertion in others. 


As human society is constituted to-day, 
many of our most coveted occupations call 
for no physical exertion whatever. The more 
diligently we prosecute our nervous and se- 
dentary callings, the less physically fit do we 
become. While our primitive brother could 
not devote himself to the simple business of 
his life without growing thereby in bodily 
health and vigour, we men and women unfor- 
tunately cannot devote ourselves to the affairs 

/ of modern life without depleting whatever 
store of energy and health we may possess. 
As long as we can sit upon a chair, like 

/ Browning's Grammarian, " dead from the 
waist down,'' we can still, after an accepted 
fashion at least, follow our chosen pursuits. 
We are under no such direct and imperative 
incentive to keep ourselves strong, as they of 
earlier simpler times encountered. 

Many occupations, moreover, which do 
call for active bodily exertion are so special- 
ized as to cramp and distort and diminish 
physical development rather than to help it. 


Si^e JKaltfitg of M^ttnonulitm 

So that there is almost always and everywhere 
a tendency towards general inefficiency and 
physical perversion, as the natural man comes 
under the more or less artificial conditions of 
contemporary life, whether of luxury or la- 
bour, — conditions no less exacting and in 
many ways much less wholesome than of old. 
Neither the office, the factory, the school- 
room, the shop, nor the drawing-room, is 
capable of producing an admirable tyfie^m^ 
physical manhood, or supplying those activ- ^ 
ities which call forth fine bodily powers and 
develop them to the point of adequate per- 

It is not to be wondered at that our motion 
should be in danger of losing its primal 
strength and grace^ and that so many of us 
grow awkward and constrained. Such bad 
habits become confirmed and transmitted, 
and we hardly even inherit symmetrical and 
unhampered physiques or natural motion. 
Unfortunate mannerisms of carriage and ges- 
ture and voice are often our heritage, even if 


we acquire no new defects for ourselves. It 
may have been natural for an Indian or a 
South Sea Islander to walk well, with no 
more training than his unvitiated instinct sup- 
plied ; he would have had a free, unperverted 
body at his command ; and then his walk and 
motion would have been his natural express- 
ive meeting of a requirement. It does not 
by any means follow that the city-born man 
will have the same instinctive faculty. He 
may never have to run a step nor take a deep 
breath in his life, nor ever have felt any in- 
centive to realize his best personal prefer- 
ence through bodily exertion. The need of 
a capable sound physique is not borne in upon 
him every hour, as it was upon men long ago 
when all life went on out-of-doors. The pos- 
session of grace and strength may seem 
mildly pleasant and valuable, but it can hardly 
appear to him an instant matter of life or 
death. He is not hourly pressed upon by cir- 
cumstances that call for all his best bodily 
efforts, and so constantly develop his forces 


and faculties, his deftness, skill, strength, and 
promptness of action. 

Animals in their wild state are strong and 
graceful of necessity, since they must move 
with the utmost economy of motion or be 
eliminated for their blundering. Their ex- 
istence as individuals depends upon their per- 
fecting to the utmost what is normal in their 
kind. To be awkward is to stand in jeopardy 
of the very life. To be wasteful of strength, 
to be inadequate in motion, are sins in the 
natural world that are visited with the dire 
punishments of hunger and death. There 
there is no respect for average excellence, no 
indulgence of any fashionable weakness or 
perversion of primal powers. 

The primitive man was necessarily and nat- 
urally graceful for similar reasons. His free, 
wild life in the open compelled him to be 
constantly at his best. He could not shirk, 
nor be indifferent, nor allow himself to get 
out of training with impunity. The world 
about him was a huge and hostile environ- 


menty which yielded him a living indeed, but 
which compelled him to be always up to the 
standard of normal manhood, and visited any 
deflection with a ruthless punishment His 
life depended upon his dexterity, precision, 
and fleetness of foot, on eye and wind and 
agility. His physique was beautiful because 
it was fit; and it was kept fit and normal by 
continual exercise in the most rigorous school 
of necessity, — a school which compelled ex- 
peditious, effectivCj^ and unwasteful perfec- 
tion of activity, and commensurate develop- 

With moderns the case is very different. 
The struggle for life is as keen as ever, but 
its base has been shifted. It is less a case of 
the survival of the strongest than of the 
shrewdest. The likeliest to maintain himself 
among his competing fellows has come to be, 
not the man of greatest muscle, but the man 
of keenest calculation. Modern life has he- 
come a battle of Machiavellian wit, rather 
than of human strength. We have not al- 



tered the law of evolution, but we have al- 
tered its conditions and deflected its course. 
Popular selection, instead of producing 
strong, graceful and delightful persons, pro- 
duces exceptional, overmentalized and often 
malign ones. That is the unwholesome ten- 
dency of the modem business world, against 
which we have to guard. It is a tendency 
that so exaggerates the mental faculties, that 
they need more than ever before the backing 
of strong uncompromising moral qualities, 
and the reinforcement of vigorous physique, 
if we are to profit by the value of our ad- 
vancement or realize the happiness to which 
we aspire. The universal and instinctive en- 
joyment of outdoor life and exercise is proof 
of the validity of any claim for wholesome 
living, and for such education as shall help 
us to get the utmost physical good, in health 
and pleasure, out of our possibilities and lim- 

Since we no longer live under the rigorous 
necessities which produced and determined 


our physical powers, in the course of human 
evolution, it is not to be expected that those 
powers can be retained unimpaired without 
wise and deliberate fostering. Our physical 
development needs our most intelligent care 
and determined cultivation. In return it can- 
not but repay our painstaking with added 
health and sanity and happiness. We must 
remember, however, that the mere supplying 
of haphazard exercise, no matter how ample 
and stimulating, is not alone enough to pro- 
duce the best results in physical development. 
It goes without saying that our customary 
responsibilities allow little time out of each 
day for physical recreation pure and simple; 
yet even the busiest life offers more possibili- 
ties of that sort than is realized, and would 
gain rather than lose by the utilization of 
every such opportunity. Then, too, there are 
best ways of doing all the enforced work one 
has to do, — best ways of sitting and standing 
and breathing and moving, so as to get a min- 
imum of detriment and a maximum of bene- 


sue JUaltfns ot ^tvnonulits 

fit from our labour, even though it be drudg- 
ery. No labour, however menial, but can be 
made to yield its quota to our physical well- 
being, if performed with intelligence and 
spirit. Drudgery is in the drudge, not in the 

This is the chief use of physical education, 
as of all other, to fit us for the perform- 
ance of necessary work, — no mere training 
that is made up of incoherent and unrelatable 
gymnastic diversions, or athletic excesses, but 
a veritable and beneficent education, as sci- 
entific as engineering, as ethical as religion, 
and as artistic as the best sculpture. 

Such an ideal physical training would not, 
of course, correct all the ills under which we 
live, but it would certainly go far to help us. 
Social ideals have to be modified, social insti- 
tutions reformed, continually, so that life may 
be kept balanced and sane, — so that the indi- 
vidual may have something like a fair chance 
for free development of all the human facul- 
ties of body, heart, and brain. Our own age 


sue ^SOtunina nf ^tvnonulits 

is as much in need of this healthy growth as 
any other. But quite apart from these con- 
siderations of social readjustment, the fact is 
to be noted that modern life, with its distorted 
demands, its crazy haste, and its foolish ab- 
sorption in affairs, is directly responsible for 
any physical deterioration, and that we can 
only maintain our normal physical standard 
of excellence and efficiency by deliberate and 
adequate care. 

Exercise is only the outward modifying cir- 
cumstance which moulds our physical powers, 
and must be accurately adjusted to the laws 
of remedy and growth, in order to yield the 
best results. It has the inward, living, con- 
trolling force of personality to reckon with. 
Unless we recognize this truth and proceed 
upon it, all our systems of physical education 
must remain futile, — as they so largely are. 
Man's body is the product of evolution, in- 
deed, but that evolution includes also the 
growth of his spirit and intelligence, which 
find their only manifestation through his 


physical being. Free life in the open may 
give us opportunity for good motion and fine 
carriage, but even under the most favourable 
conditions habitually fine carriage and good 
motion can only spring from nobility of char- 
acter. Dignity, grace, dexterity are physical 
traits, if you will, but they are incompatible 
with an unintelligent and depraved nature. 
We have therefore to take into consideration 
the essential threefold unity of personality in 
any attempt at education, — the indivisible 
j^elation between body-building and charac- 
ter-building. We havelo make sure that we 
are well supplied with dignified and gracious 
ideals that shall induce and stimulate worthy 
growth of character, while inspiring and 
establishing fine habits of plastic motion for 
its spontaneous expression. 

The cultivation of beautiful motion is an 
avenue to the attainment of great personal 
loveliness, and is available to all. For grace, 
that is to say good motion, is one of the most 
alive and potent sorts of beauty, exercising a 


subtle but incalculable influence; and while 
perfection of form and feature is largely be- 
yond our own control, the charm of pleasing 
motion, with the improvement in look and 
bearing which it gives, is almost immediately 
attainable, and is instantly impressive. We 
are accustomed to think of a fine carriage as 
a becoming accomplishment or a fortunate 
accident; we seldom account it a result of 
character, — an inevitable expression of indi- 
vidual personality. It does not usually occur 
to us to interpret what it means, and what 
traits it indicates. Yet, consciously or uncon- 
sciously, it always conveys an impression ; and 
voluntarily or involuntarily, it always betrays 
character. And, if we wish to cultivate or 
enhance physical personal beauty, we must 
inculcate this truth of the close relationship 
between the physical being and the inward 
character, and the influence of the one on the 
other. Beauty is the expression of noble in- 
telligence. Personal charm and grace are the 
manifestation of fundamental values inherent 


in the individual. It is impossible to culti- 
vate personal beauty and physical perfection 
in ourselves and in the race, without first hav- 
ing ideals of perfection of spirit and under- 
standing. The aid of goodness and truth must 
always be enlisted to accord with our aims 
for the achievement and maintenance of 
beauty, whether in life or art, or personal 
culture. To build a structure, we must first 
have a design. Our outward self is built and 
rebuilt, moment by moment, by our inward 
self, and is the true expression of our thoughts 
and emotions; just as the beautiful outward 
world of nature is created, moment by mo- 
ment, and is the true expression of a benefi- 
cent purposeful energy. 

The human body in every tissue and move- 
ment is but the living simulacrum of the 
mind and soul that pervade it. It can never 
be given a fair and lovely seeming, — dignity 
and charm and grace, — by any attempt to 
affect these attributes, since they are spiritual 
attributes as well as physical, — manifesta- 


sue ^pfltunins ot ^ttnonuUtm 

tions of kindly sincerity, not of selfish artifice. 
Any body need only be made a plastic and 
obedient vehicle or medium, faithfully re- 
vealing fine spirit and intelligence, in order 
to realize the utmost physical beauty of 
which that person is capable^ and to gratify 
the most aesthetic demand. 

All motion, whether self-conscious or not, 
has meaning; and onc^s bearing — the pres- 
ence with which one fronts the world — is 
an irrefutable revelation of oneself. Per- 
sonal beauty and graceful motion, a charm- 
ing manner and a musical voice, are valuable 
powers that may be cultivated and attained 
in some degree by all, just as health and vig- 
our may be. But they cannot be acquired as 
mere elegant accomplishments, the affected 
externals of a fashionable education, to be 
learned by precept or imitation. So consid- 
ered, they become nothing more than a trans- 
parent veneer over ignorant vulgarity, a 
sham polish that very Sadly imitates good 
breeding. Real gracefulness of bearing, 




sue JUamnn ot ^tpnonulltp 

charm of manner and speech, are truly the 
" outward and visible signs of an inward and 
spiritual grace." They give eloquent utter- 
ance to significant personality. Being subject 
to definite natural laws of expression, not to 
be learned by rote nor taught by rule, they 
must be developed as normal means of ex- 
pression, if they are to be acquired at their 
best; and they must only be exercised as nat- 
ural avenues of sincere expression if they are 
to be retained in their legitimate normal 
freshness. When so acquired and so used, 
tfiey can never be artificial nor fictitious nor 
insincere; they are then what they were 
made to be by nature, spontaneous character- 
istic traits of the individual, lending him 
identification, distinction, and magnetism. 

To cultivate fundamental means of expres- 
sion is merely to take care of certain faculties 
and powers already in our possession, and for 
which we are responsible. This should con- 
stitute a most vital and practical part of any 
liberal education, since education surely can 


have no other aim than this, — to liberate the 
mind and spirit, to set them free, to put them 
in possession of their lawful dominions, to 
help them realize and utilize themselves, to 
increase still more their growing powers for 
beneficent influence, so that human person- 
ality may reach its happiest normal devel- 
opment Culture of the body, like culture of 
the mind, must Be a real education of the in- 
dividual, not the mere acquisition of tricks, 
if it is to hold its rightful place in educational 
and general esteem and fulfil the largest 
measure of its usefulness. 

It is the quality of exercise, rather than its 
quantity, that needs consideration. The at- 
tention we give it is perhaps already suflScient 
in amount; it is requisite that we should see 
that it is adequate in value also, and that it 
is rightly related to other branches of per- 
sonal culture, if it is to be accredited with its 
legitimate place and importance in any 
scheme of human improvement. 

Voice and motion are primarily faculties 

of expression, and can best be cultivated only 
as such. The laws which govern their use 
are the laws which govern all art. In the 
person of the actor they must be brought to 
perfection and held in readiness to be utilized 
in his art of characterization. He exempli- 
fies the possibility of making any discrimina- 
tion between the art of expression and the 
individual use of our faculties of speech and 
motion. He reminds us that, while few of 
us are actors portraying the moods and pas- 
sions of imaginary characters by deliberate 
imitation, we are all of us every instant con- 
sciously or unconsciously betraying emotions 
of our own. And the means at our command 
are precisely the same as his in kind, though 
in a much less perfect state of development 
and control. The master of his indubitable 
art, he makes use of no other media of expres- 
sion than we. But with his intelligent com- 
mand of his art he is able to express exactly 
what he means to express, while we on the 
other hand, through lack of such control, 


through defective education and bad habits 
of imitation, express much that we would not 
express, and fail to express much that we 
think and feel and long to be accredited with. 
The truth is, no man can speak or move with- 
out definitely expressing something; which 
makes it obviously desirable that expression 
be educated and devoted to the highest hu- 
man service. 

So inexorable are the laws of expression 
under which we live and move and have our 
being, that the tortuous soul can never quite 
hide any duplicity from the keen observer, 
nor true nobility be mistaken for pinchbeck. 
Training in the fundamental principles of 
expression — the acquiring of good habits of 
speech and motion, which are two most pri- 
mary factors in expression — is therefore not 
only a requisite part of all thorough education 
of personality, but a constant aid in the dif- 
ficult matter of maintaining a worthy con- 
duct of life. It tends to make us directly 
masters of ourselves; it gives us insight into 



the thoughts and feelings of others; it vents 
the springs of generous freedom in ourselves; 
its principles are built into the foundation of 
all culture, life, and art. 

These are very definite reasons for main- 
taining that wisely adapted physical educa- 
tion is as much needed for the personality of 
the artist, the scholar, and the man in the 
street, as for the athlete. It should be clear 
enough that no great achievement in art, in 
science, or in religion, no surpassing stroke 
of genius, nor any masterly human dealing, 
can be expected of a puny or perverted peo- 
ple. That in itself is enough justification for 
scrupulous care and culture of the body. But 
it is impossible to teach good motion and pure 
musical tone-production, without thereby 
evoking and encouraging the growth of fine 
spirit and clear thinking. Tone and motion 
can only be pleasing and beautiful when they 
have sincerity of impulse behind them and 
through them, and are executed with freedom 
and skill. It follows inevitably that to instil 


sue jnranftifl of 39et0onalft9 

and disseminate habits of graceful movement 
and pleasing speech is to develop through 
well-chosen exercise such basic qualities as 
sincerity, dignity, and kindliness in the indi- 
vidual, and honesty, beneficence, and effi- 
ciency in the community. The raw, crude, 
vulgar manners of so many young people, 
even in grades of society where better things 
might be expected, are oftentimes attributa- 
ble quite as much to ill-regulated habits of 
using the voice and the body, as to any inten- 
tional discourtesy. And these blemishes van- 
ish as if by magic under adequate physical 
education, — a wise and practically selected 
cultivation of motion and speech. An awk- 
ward and slovenly gait, a boorish and un- 
lovely bearing, a strident and repellent voice, 
forbidding as they are to those who encounter 
them, may be far more harmful in their reflex 
influence upon the nerves and temperaments 
of their unfortunate possessors. 

Such considerations as these more than jus- 
tify a plea for the spread of the best physical 


sue jnaftftifl of l^ttnonulitp 

education, training that is not only good for 
muscles and amusement, but that, betters all 
our effectiveness and satisfaction in life. The 
evolution of such a standard of education 
would create a necessity for teachers of such 
surpassing wisdom and patient skill as are 
almost nowhere to be found, and would re- 
quire in those who professed it not only a 
broad fund of psychological and scientific 
knowledge, but a distinct genius for the art 
of their calling, — an art far greater and 
more consciously creative than it has hereto- 
fore been considered. 

To such a philosophy of education it can- 
not seem enough that physical training should 
be conducted as a separate and optional 
branch of work, and be relegated to occa- 
sional supervision of overspecialized teach- 
ers, who, however proficient they may be in 
gymnastics, are seldom inspired by the broad- 
est culture. All teachers, of whatever subject, 
should comprehend the principles of such a 
symmetrical educational ideal, and should be 


I^He ^If anfng of l$tvnonulitp 

versed in all of its rudiments at least, so that 
they may have a wise care of the general well- 
being of their pupils at all times. It should 
be considered quite as much the teacher's 
province to encourage habits of good motion 
and fine voice as to inculcate orderly beha- { 
viour and clean morals. We should fare 
badly if our only training in ethics were 
derived from a half-hour's lesson on a Sunday 
afternoon; just as inadequate for the needs 
of the growing body must be a half-hour of 
calisthenics once or twice a week. 

It must always be recognized that teaching 
is one of the greatest arts, as well as one of 
the noblest professions. It may be claimed 
that the task of the ideal artist is to make 
something out of nothing, to disseminate 
ideals by giving them reality, to increase the 
sum of happiness in the world, to uphold 
lofty standards of conduct, to make the god- 
like powers of goodness and reason prevail 
against the Titanic forces of ill; but it is 
hardly appreciated that the task of the ideal 


sue matting of l^tvnonulitp 

teacher is equally creative and far-reaching. 
He deals with a spiritual art, moulding plas- 
tic personalities to human perfection by his 
skill, his patience, his insight and his genius. 
Such incomparable service demands the most 
comprehensive culture and devotion, and is 
entitled to the highest honours in the gift of 
mankind to bestow. Such a teacher is a co- 
worker in the field with Christ and Buddha 
and all the supremely unselfish souls who 
have devoted their lives to the development 
and betterment of the life of our kind. Not 
until we recognize and encourage this essen- 
tial status of teachers, can we expect them to 
fulfil these ideals, or hope that schooling shall 
yield the best possible fruits of ideal educa- 



^. Ctie ^altie of Smtintt 

The value of instinct is its incorruptible 
honesty. Reason may err and palter and vary 
and be deceived or overborne; sentiment may 
grow false and stale; both may be deluded 
by the shows of circumstance, the force of 
tradition, the dictates of authority, the voice 
of calumny, or the mere inertia of habit. But 
instinct is swerved by none of these things. 
It was the master of our destinies long ago, 
when we were first emerging from chaos and 
oblivion, before reason was achieved or sen- 
timent begotten, playing the part of divinity 
in our strong, restless, obedient, unconscious 


sue jnaltfnii of ^wnonulitp 

bodies, while as yet error of judgment and 
sadness of heart were scarcely beginning to 

In the earlier world instinct taught us to 
forage for our food, to engender and rear our 
offspring, to preserve the precious gift of life, 
to avoid danger, to seek joy, and to conquer 
fear. Since then, in the long course of evo- 
lution, as we have come to call the story of 
man, the teaching of instinct has been over- 
laid with a mass of other information, — all 
the knowledge which awakening mind has 
discovered, all the lore which the growing 
emotions have accumulated. Instinct itself 
has been abandoned, insulted, almost forgot- 
ten, and its invaluable guidance set aside. 
Life has been made so safe, so much a matter 
of routine and comfort and custom, that our 
realization of the need of the services of in- 
stinct from moment to moment in daily life 
has fallen into abeyance. We no longer rely 
upon its fresh and prompt decisions, but refer 
all perplexities to the slow adjudication of 


sue VntierglotD 

reason or the uncertain arbitration of the 

True, it seems to be the destined aim of 
sentient life to evolve and perfect these two 
gifts, the power to think truly and the power 
to feel deeply; but that is by no means a rea- 
son for discountenancing their primitive part- 
ner and invaluable helpmate, a keen and 
active instinct. A little consideration of the 
subject will show that such a loss must prove 
fatal not only to the outward physical life of 
the human being, but to the inward person- 
ality itself. In " The Life of Reason," diat 
book full of wise things, Mr. George Santa- 
yana says, in dealing with " Reason in Relig- 
ion," " It is no accident for the soul to be 
embodied; her very essence is to express and 
bring to fruition the body's functions and re- 
sources. Its instincts make her ideals and its 
relations her world." And again in the vol- 
ume on " Reason in Common Sense," " The 
soul adopts the body's aims; from the body 



sue jnaftftifl of i^tvnonulita 

and from its instincts she draws a first hint 
of the right means to the accepted purposes." 
M. Maeterlinck, with his incomparable in- 
sight in such matters, has given a description 
of instinct in his essay on " The Psychology 
of Accident," which leaves little more to be 
said upon the subject, save to reinforce the 
profound lesson which his penetrating de- 
scription suggests. He portrays instinct as a 
humble, tireless drudge, lodged in our mortal 
tenement, to tend and care for all its more 
menial necessities, unrecognized for the most 
part, yet ever ready to spring to our assistance 
whenever any need arises, rushing instantly 
to the aid of its slower superior, reason, in 
moments of peril, and retiring again unrec- 
ognized and unencouraged to the obscure 
corners of its dwelling. In his own words, 
"The danger once past, reason, stupefied, 
gasping for breath, unbelieving, a little dis- 
concerted, turns its head and takes a last look 
at the improbable. Then it resumes the lead, 
as of right, while the good savage that no one 


sue SIntierglotD 

dreams of thanking, returns in silence to its 

We have all passed through that experience 
of being rescued by our faithful savage, and 
feel how true this description is, — with what 
terror we grasp that modest and surest aid, 
and how nonchalantly we turn from it the 
moment our panic has subsided. For the cul- 
tivator of personality, bent on achieving the 
most normal self-development, the point is 
that we pay far too small heed to our savage, 
and for the most part treat it with culpable 
and costly neglect and contempt; when in 
truth it is quite as important to our human 
happiness as proud reason, which flatters itself 
it has accomplished such wonders, or fastidi- 
ous moral spirit, which has had unnumbered 
temples, churches, shrines, altars, basilicas, 
cathedrals, mosques, minsters and abbeys built 
for its indulgence and gratification. 

These pampered and sniffy aristocrats are 
apt to regard their unassuming ally as much 
too vulgar and anarchistic to be associated 


stir jnaltftiii of l^tvnonuUta 

with upon equal terms, and would gladly for- 
get him and his affairs if they could. He 
must shift for himself, for all they care, and 
satisfy his own wants and requirements as best 
he can without any intentional aid from them. 
This is the prime and monumental fault of 
civilization, the flaw which all our philoso- 
phy of education so far has failed to correct, 
and which it is our most important business 
to amend. We have somehow allowed this 
coolness between savage and angel to grow 
unchecked, to the great detriment of our 
human nature. Let us be well assured that 
we shall in no instance be able to regain or 
maintain anything like normal perfection un- 
til this breach is bridged, and instinct and 
reason are brought again into fullest legiti- 
mate accord. So only can we avert chaotic 
and otherwise incomprehensible sadness, de- 
terioration, and defeat from the triumvirate 
of personality, so omnipotent when at peace 
with itself, so vulnerable when distraught by 
inharmony and misgovernment. 


sue SIntierglotD 

Instinct, like any other faculty, may be edu- 
cated and kept growing and strong by exer- 
cise and good care, or may be allowed to be- 
come inept and useless. Do we give instinct 
decent care from day to day? Do we not 
rather follow the modern fashion of discoun- 
tenancing, repressing, and insulting it, like an 
unwelcome and unappreciated child? Ac- 
cording to popular supposition, instinct is an 
endowment, something like one of the senses, 
which we each possess in a definite and un- 
alterable degree. But that notion is wrong. 
Instinct is not like the hearing or the eyesight, 
of certain more or less fixed utility in each 
person. It is more like the mind itself, capa- 
ble of great development under careful cul- 
ture or of great deterioration under neglect. 
By most people instinct is classed with the 
least spiritual of the senses, among the least 
noble of the faculties of man, a part of that 
animal heritage which a false theology has 
taught us to be ashamed of, but which indeed 
we must foster and train with every respectful 


sue jnaltfng of ^tvnonulita 

care, as an ever essential help in human 

Instinct is the wisdom of the senses, and the 
censor of all our wisdom. All the experience 
of sensation, with its subtle modifications by 
thought and feeling, through countless gen- 
erations of life, has gone to the making of that 
wisdom, and been absorbed by the species in 
its store of animal consciousness and the 
equipment of that fundamental and indis- 
pensable faculty which we call instinct. And 
all of our higher, later, or more rational 
knowledge, including our thoughts, aspira- 
tions, dreams and conclusions, are almost val- 
ueless until they have been weighed and ap- 
proved by instinct. Reason alone, splendid 
and daring as it is, is far too erratic, youthful, 
vain, and visionary to be entrusted with the 
entire control of our human destiny; it must 
for safety pay respectful heed to the more 
deeply sympathetic judgments of instinct. 

Instinct cannot become educated unless it is 
allowed to bear some part in the problems of 


sue SIntietglotD 

living. It is a valuable third judge with rea- 
son and intuition, and together, not sepa- 
rately, they direct the affairs of the body, the 
affairs of the mind, the affairs of the soul, and 
adjudicate the ultimate welfare of personal- 
ity. If instinct were thwarted and repressed, 
and allowed to operate in the sphere of the 
senses alone, it could not help being stultified 
and dulled. It is only by being given free 
scope in the widest range that it can be kept 
happy, keen, growing, and competent. When 
instinct is given this fair opportunity, it will 
be found to develop and serve as wonderfully 
and widely as either of its fellow faculties of 
spirit and mind, and to yield its needed quota 
to the sum of personal happiness and worth. 

Instinct must help to govern not only our 
food and clothing, but our friendships, our 
antipathies, our vocations, our recreations, 
our labour, and our love. Few of us know it 
sufficiently even in its most primal and essen- 
tial realms. We are so accustomed to eat and 
dress by rule and custom that we often forget 


to consult instinct in the matter, greatly to our 
disadvantage. How often we eat, not because 
we are hungry, but because it is meal-time 1 
And how often we eat whatever is most con- 
venient or customary, without consulting our 
instinctive appetite at all, even when choice 
is possible and an abundance is at our com- 
mand. Eating and drinking should never be 
matters of mere routine or heedless habit, but 
always of normal sensibility. A certain reg- 
ularity is not to be despised, but inert habit 
should never be permitted to override the 
alert and vital instinct, though habit also has 
its lawful and beneficial uses. And in the 
matter of the appetites, it is the instinct for 
ultimate well-being and satisfaction that is to 
be consulted; not the momentary proclivity 
of taste and inclination. Only a few articles 
of food are universally wholesome and nutri- 
tious. Each individuality has its own idio- 
syncrasies of diet; shell-fish are poison to one, 
strawberries to another, honey to a third, and 
so on. These are matters for each one's in* 


sue 2lntirt0lol» 

stinct to learn and heed, as a most elementary 
lesson in common sense. But a trained and 
respected instinct will go much further, and 
will safely guide one's preference at any time 
for the nurture and protection of the phy- 
sique, so as to keep it always wholesome and 

Instinct, too, might help beneficially to reg- 
ulate our housing and clothing more than it 
is allowed to do. We are inclined to wear 
our clothes according to seasonal traditions 
and fashions, rather than according to the feel 
of the weather and our own condition and 
comfort. A little heed given to our natural 
monitor would often save us from distressful 
cold, dangerous overheating, and poisonous 
asphyxiation ; for it will unerringly warn, if 
only we are accustomed to recognize its sig- 
nals, the moment we step into the street or 
crowded car, or lie down to sleep, whether 
or not we are suflliciently or excessively pro- 

Quite as legitimately also is instinct entitled 


to its voice in deciding our choice of acquaint- 
ances and friends. An instant aversion, an 
unreasoning but definite antipathy to this per- 
son or that, is not as foolish as chaotic charity 
and commercial common sense would lead us 
to believe. And we often overpersuade our- 
selves, against the subtle intimations of in- 
stinctive preference, to enter into relation- 
ships that turn out disastrously for all con- 
cerned, and to attempt friendships that never 
could be worth while, when, if we had ac- 
cepted the warning of our genius, we might 
have avoided much wasteful experiment and 
dismay. Every personality has its natural 
antagonisms; it could not otherwise have any 
individual inclination, insistence, or influ- 
ence; and it is a waste of power to incur un- 
necessary contact with these antagonisms. It 
is the business of instinct to avoid such waste 
and whatever is inimical to well-being, in the 
realm of association as in other spheres, — to 
help us to recognize and select those person- 
alities best suited to stimulate our happy 


growth and enjoy in their turn whatever hu- 
man helpfulness we may possess. It is only 
on such foundations of honest comprehension, 
sympathy, and gladdening utility that noble 
and lasting friendship can be maintained. 

So, too, in our work and recreations. This 
or that play may be very excellent and enjoy- 
able for many persons, and yet not suited to 
your needs nor mine at the moment. Ibsen, 
for example, though an admirable dramatist, 
a keen and beneficent analyst of the ills of the 
age, may very possibly for you be unpleas- 
antly superfluous; you may already have on 
your hands, to say nothing of your heart and 
head, more grievous problems than you can 
relish; then instinct most wisely bids you 
away from the theatre where his studies are 
being presented. Be not deluded by any false 
sense of intellectual or fashionable obligation 
into watching his horrors. On the other hand 
if he gives you what you need, — some help 
to realize facts, some hint to think of things 
about you, — obey the impulse that bids you 


seek his presentation of humai> drama, though 
you have to stand through whole perform- 
ances. This same obiter dictum is true of 
reading. Let us read nothing that we instinc- 
tively dislike; it can do no more good than 
food for which we have a natural distaste. 
There is better reading wherever honest taste 
leads; and as we gain therefrom we soon 
come to discard the worthless readily enough. 
Instinct would make us lords of ourselves, 
instead of dupes of charlatans and slaves of 
fashion. The reliance upon instinct relieves 
one of self-consciousness, because one waits to 
know its dictates, instead of wondering and 
worrying. It thus makes for repose and se- 
renity, and liberates us from fussiness, incer- 
titude, and trepidation. To be ashamed of 
one's instinct is like being ashamed of one's 
nationality; it may be desirable or undesir- 
able, but to be ashamed of it is least desirable 
of all. Instinct is a most democratic faculty, 
endowing us with a sort of universal language 
or free-masonry intelligible to people of 


every race and condition. At the same time 
it lends distinction and charm to any person- 
ality. Habitual response to instinctive im- 
pulse gives an air of high-bred courage to 
conduct by taking away the appearance of 
hesitancy and calculation. When reason is 
endorsed by comfortable assurance of instinct, 
there is a resulting gladness that no fantasies 
of unsubstantiated reason can hope to attain. 
It is instinct that pronounces indisputable 
judgment on the value of erudite opinion and 
the worth of varied experience. 



^, Cf^ i^ttiance of 3EUa0on 

We may exclaim with the sturdy English 
poet, if we will, 

<< I am the master of my fate, 
I am the captam of my soul," 

and still find our craft in troublous places and 
sorry plight, if we persist in considering cap- 
taincy all sufficient for smooth sailing. The 
captain, while he is in responsible command 
of his ship, is not the only person of impor- 
tance in its service. In clear sailing on a deep- 
sea course he may wield undisputed sway; in 
dangerous channels and among unfamiliar 


soundings he must pass his command to a 
pilot. It is the business of that functionary to 
be better acquainted with the perils and intri- 
cacies of his locality than the high-sea cap- 
tain need be, and to keep the craft from dis- 
aster, not from lack of seamanship but from 
lack of knowledge. 

The simile may be applied to human be- 
ings. The primacy of the spirit is incontesta- 
ble, but the necessity for reason is incontesta- 
ble also. Not only must every personality be 
captained by its soul, it must also be piloted 
by its own intelligence. Whatever course the 
untutored will may wish to venture upon 
needs to be examined, adjudged and steered 
by the understanding. Reason deals with our 
affairs in a strictly practical fashion. It ruth- 
lessly revises our dreamful purposes and 
ideals, with regard to their possibility or prac- 
ticability of accomplishment in this very real 
world. Our captain soul would have us sail 
on and on into some beautiful and alluring 
glory, where all seems fair and innocent, when 



perhaps wiser reason must come to the rescue 
and warn us of some sunken reef directly in 
our path. 

The soul is guileless and unsuspecting, and 
seems to be native to a land that knows no 
sorrow nor disappointment, no accident nor 
evil, and to be experienced only in an eternity 
of truth and beauty and goodness. Left to its 
own devices, it would soon and often come 
to disaster on the shores of this world's life. 
It needs the more canny reason to come con- 
stantly to its aid in all issues of its daily course. 
In a state of ideality, we may imagine that 
the soul might require neither chart nor pilot, 
but could sail on its glorious way unthreat- 
ened by obstructing facts. When it came to 
take upon itself mundane existence, however, 
it needed some defence against the world's 
fatalities, and so reason evolved to be its guide 
and friend. 

The spirit of man with all its soaring and 
radiance is unsophisticated, unadapted to its 
earthly environment, and through the best ef- 



fort of a long lifetime only begins to learn 
the lesson of wise procedure among its daily 
concerns. With this difficult task to accom- 
plish, we can ill afford to overlook or slight 
any possible means of advantage, and yet we 
recklessly ignore and defy reason's splendid 
help, and allow it to deteriorate day by day. 
It has been said that if all the world could 
stop simultaneously for five minutes and rea- 
sonably consider the real values of life, it 
would thereupon be immediately and wholly 
converted to good. Human welfare is less in 
need of new facts than of renewed habit and 
growth of power in utilizing rationally and 
fully those already at our command. The 
wisdom of the cheerful woodsman who knows 
little beyond the facts and uses of his habitat 
is of greater human value than the encyclo- 
pedic and chaotic information of the world- 
wanderer, who with all his smattering cannot 
make life seem worth while anywhere. The 
manipulation of knowledge and of spirit 
proves their worth, not the mere possession of 


them. And reason is our supreme manipu- 
lator. Plans approved by reason are the only 
ones worthy all the skill that execution and 
devotion can acquire. 

When effort is thus put forth under the 
careful guidance of reason, there is no such 
thing as its coming to nought, even though 
the reason be faulty and the art faltering. 
The very rightness of the process accomplishes 
something, if only in strengthening the habit 
of trying in the best way. How much tardy, 
painstaking and misguided diligence, how 
much befogged aspiration and benighted dis- 
content, may be avoided by simply using our 
pilot honestly and opportunely. The sad fal- 
lacy that reason is incompatible with inspira- 
tion, detrimental to genius, and antagonistic 
to art, has led us far astray in our search for 
happiness and beauty, and has grievously re- 
tarded human growth and gladness. 

As the time for a pilot's service is at the 
beginning and the close of a voyage, so the 
most serviceable time for reason's help is at 


the beginning and the end of an undertaking. 
When we have once fully embarked upon a 
venture, it is mere childishness to cry for help, 
to wish we had taken thought sooner, or to 
hesitate in indecision. Main considerations 
must be weighed before setting sail; and the 
sum of wisdom may be profitably reckoned 
afterward ; but while we are in the midst of 
endeavour there is little time for successful 

Happiness is never the result of mere well- 
meaning. The best intention can achieve no 
satisfaction for itself, save through the aid of 
intelligence and skill. Our utmost longing 
for felicity will prove for ever futile, unless 
we can supplement it with some command of 
circumstance, some power to control condi- 
tions and to fashion procedure to our will; 
and this we can never do without promptitude 
and clarity of understanding and judgment. 
Pure volition is incapable of achievement, a 
feckless entity without mind or force, if such 
a thing be conceivable. 


To the sincere and eager student bent upon 
finding a genuine solution of the difficult 
problem of self-culture or the making of per- 
sonality, it must surely appear that no over- 
specialized development can make for perfec- 
tion, but that we must foster our triune indi- 
viduality with impartial care. Under our 
present educational ideals there is little dan- 
ger of mentality being neglected. In fact our 
system concerns itself almost wholly with 
training the mind ; and with that aim in itself 
one can find no fault. It would be wrong to 
say that any intelligence can be overcultivated, 
or that there can be any danger of being over- 
educated. There is very great danger, how- 
ever, — indeed there is every evidence, — that 
culture and personality may be overmental- 
ized. Many a person has been given exercise 
of the mind out of all proportion to that be- 
stowed either upon the physique or tKe spirit, 
to the sorry undoing of the personality as a 
living whole. Of higher education in its best 
and symmetrical sense no one can have too 


much ; but of mere book knowledge and men- 
tal training, which is almost all that our edu- 
cational system offers^ one may easily have a 
disproportionate amount. The highly edu- 
cated person, in our usual understanding of 
the term, is proverbially inept and inefficient, 
less well fitted for the task of securing and 
disseminating a creditable degree of happi- 
ness in life than many an illiterate but better 
balanced man or woman. The developing of 
any one of the three phases of human nature, 
at the expense of the others, must inevitably 
lead to such undesirable result; and while 
our present standards of education may make 
scholars, they will never make the happiest 
possible human beings. To that end, educa- 
tion must include a commensurate recognition 
and culture of physical and spiritual values, 
in the assurance that the mind itself cannot 
reach even its own finest growth, unless fur- 
thered in its progress by a refreshing spirit 
and an invigorating body. 
Inasmuch as the chief concern of life seems 

to be the evolving and training of personali- 
ties, it would seem sensible to make our mental 
training such as will readily and efficiently 
serve all requirements that body, mind, or 
spirit may make upon it; to bring our intel- 
lectual culture to bear upon the hourly prob- 
lems of living and the securing of happiness; 
to pursue our cherished schemes with success- 
ful intelligence; in short, to make reason 
count for its utmost aid not only in the sphere 
of thought but in all the affairs of daily health 
and gladness. 

The setting aside of intellectual life as a 
mere refuge from the difficulties of practical 
well-being and well-doing, the withdrawing 
ourselves into the enchanted kingdoms of pure 
science, and the turning of our responsibilities 
away from all the hard problems which beset 
every hour, is only a begging of the question 
of wisdom. The life of a scholarly recluse, 
absorbed in his own intellectual preferences, 
may be excused with specious arguments, but 
it may also be criticized as a shirking of the 


main issues of individual conduct, of evading 
the difficulties in the way of securing some 
form of that healthy, helpful, and joyous life 
which constitutes the first dignity of man. 
Whatever gratification it may bring to the 
scholar himself, it offers no solution of the 
universal difficulty of best living. The book- 
worm is as helpless as the moilk, when it comes 
to offering any effective aid to confused hu- 
manity in its task of finding out how to make 
success and happiness out of the materials at 
hand. Moreover, neither of them reaches his 
own best possible development through that 
method of self-absorbed devotion to a single 
phase of existence. The scholar in his knowl- 
edge and the hermit in his sanctity are as far 
from the ideal of normal manhood as the man 
of many millions under his burden of stocks 
and bonds. Learning and sanctity are of vast 
value, but they are of immediate concern to 
you and me only in so far as they can be made 
to illumine and better human life as we have 
to live it to-day and here. What the soul and 


mind might accomplish under other condi- 
tions cannot profitably concern us at all, but 
what they can do to help us in any present 
place and hour is vital. Their only compre- 
hensible value and obligation is to enrich and 
advance the interests of normal personality in 
its arduous progress toward perfection. 

For every' one, then, the question is not, 
How much can I know, but How can I make 
such intelligence as I have help life to the 
utmost. Perhaps in nothing is defection at 
this point more general and more astonishing 
than in the all-desirable art of keeping well. 
What can be more important than to know 
how to care for one's health and safeguard it 
against impairment? And yet how many of 
us have any adequate understanding of the 
matter, any habit of using such hygienic 
knowledge as we may possess, or even any con- 
viction that the matter comes within the range 
of our responsible control? We are accus- 
tomed to squander health without heed, and 
without even an effort to realize how little 


rational care it would take to preserve our 
energy from undue depletion and disease. 
When sickness overtakes us we rush to a physi- 
cian, and when the emergency is past we blun- 
der on as before, without a moment's rational 
thought given to prevent a recurrence of the 

In these days sickness is a disgrace. But 
we are so fond of considering it a visitation 
of the will of God, emotionalizing over its 
woes, and indulging in an irrational religious 
sentimentalism concerning them, that we can 
hardly bring our common sense, actual knowl- 
edge, and reasonable skill to bear upon the 
question. Doctors are not wholly to blame if 
they devote more time to palliating ailments 
than to maintaining health. Most patients 
" enjoy poor health," prefer pity to fair play, 
and demand to be helped by some remedy they 
do not understand rather than by any rational 
prevention. If serious people actually realize 
what detrimental clothing does to human wel- 
fare, how can they ever condone it? If they 


once fully comprehended the benefits of a 
rational attention to diet, to dress, to ventila- 
tion, to exercise, to normal walking, talking, 
and breathing, to tonic bathing and to sleep, 
what would become of sickness and prema- 
ture death? 

The gain to be derived from including the 
guidance of reason in spiritual matters fills 
the churches of those teachers and preachers 
who are liberal enough to try the experiment. 
Many a sound moral lesson would be received 
gladly were it reinforced with appreciable 
reason rather than with appeals to discredited 
dogmas and an impossible faith in unrealities. 
The world is no longer to be ruled by fanat- 
icism and superstition at the expense of its 
growing intelligence. And this does not mean 
that religion is to be belittled nor done away; 
it rather means that it is to be honoured the 
more, — its uses made more and more sane 
and beautiful in conformity with the growth 
of standards of goodness in the world. 

We are accustomed to mistake love for a 

wholly supernatural or subnatural matter, and 
to yield to it as to an emissary from Divinity, 
beyond the province of rational guidance or 
control. And yet from the multitudinous mis- 
takes that are made in love's name, it would 
seem that in no other realm of life is the wise 
piloting of reason more necessary. The tragic 
plight of this spiritual domain may perhaps 
be due far less to any flaw in the quality of 
modem feeling or any shortage of means for 
its perfection, than to the wilful exclusion of 
reason from all of its procedure. Those who 
set out on voyages of loving companionship, 
perhaps the most difficult of all adventurings, 
should hardly expect propitious sailing with- 
out chart or pilot. 

In care of our pilot reason we may embark 
safely not only for ultimate worthy achieve- 
ment, but immediately upon orderly tides of 
thought, where, as in the realm of music, 
beauty and joy are unconstrained, — the most 
easily attainable region where perfect happi- 
ness is to be found. But our greatest triumphs 


in the art of living will come from following 
die lead of our best rationality in cheerful and 
painstaking contest against the forces of ad- 
versity, desolation, and despair, and in ma- 
king upon earth a home for the unextravagant 


"The human body is adapted to the ex- 
pression of conscious will, and this is free- 
dom. The perfect subordination of thq body 
to the will is gracefulness. It is this which 
constitutes the beauty of classic art: to have 
every muscle under perfect obedience to the 
will — unconscious obedience — so that the 
slightest inclination or desire of the soul, if 
made an act of the will, finds expression in 
the body." 

Dr. T. W. Harris, in his orderly and lu- 
minous work on Psychologic Foundations 
of Education, uses these suggestive words in 


discussing the harmonious beauty of the art 
of sculpture as perfected by the Greeks. 
They might well serve as a compendium of 
philosophy for students of expression, body 
training, and general development, so con- 
cisely and clearly do tfiey embody the essen- 
tial truth underlying all art. And he adds 
this memorable sentence, which ought to be- 
come a watchword with all teachers of phys- 
ical education, and indeed with all teachers 
in all branches of education who are worthy 
of their great profession: "The soul is at 
ease in the body only when it is using it as a 
means of expression or action." 

There we have in plain terms the secret 
not only of the principles of art in general 
and of the art of physical self-expression in 
particular, but the secret of their relation to 
intellectual and spiritual education as well. 
There surely can be no true culture that 
leaves the soul ill at ease. It is not enough 
to train the understanding and fill the mind 
with stores of knowledge. Both mind and 


spirit must be given free and adequate exer- 
cise of their natural functions, and opportu- 
nity for worthy expression and reinforcement 
of their powers. Thus only can the inner life 
with its lawful desire for activity be allowed 
proper and beneficial scope and range, — 
thus only can the soul be made at ease in the 
body. This must become the purpose of all 
culture, and it cannot be accomplished by 
mental or moral training alone. 

The body which the soul inhabits is more 
than a mere tenement, it is an essential prop- 
erty of the soul, the exponent and purveyor 
of the mind, the outer aspect of personality, 
the art medium for the manifestation of spirit 
and intelligence; and it requires just as care- 
ful consideration, just as wise education, and 
just as high perfection of technique as its as- 
sociate powers of thought and feeling. To 
educate the human being, — to give it the 
confidence, the delight, the satisfaction, the 
power and repose and legitimate perfection 
which the best culture can bring, — care 



must be taken to place at the disposal of 
every lovely spirit and brilliant mind a 
worthy, sensitive, and capable body, and to 
provide each individual, so far as possible, 
with its own appropriate physical means of 
activity and enjoyment. 

In a symmetrical cultivation of all our 
powers, in a balanced exercise of all our fac- 
ulties, the volatile treasure of personal happi- 
ness is most likely to be found. If we indulge 
a thirst for knowledge irrespective of all 
other considerations, — at the expense of 
health, kindliness, and comeliness, — we arc 
doomed to find our acquisition of learn- 
ing an unwieldy and disappointing encum- 
brance. Such unmodulated knowledge can 
never become wisdom, but must remain mere 
information, bookish pedantry, or mechan- 
ical cleverness. All such lore can avail as 
little as untrained thews and endurance avail 
a dunce. We can never be personally well 
equipped with only one-third or two-thirds 
of developed being, but must compass the 



ideal of a triune balance and symmetry of 
excellence, as the only adequate measure of 
perfection for every individual who is men- 
tally, emotionally, and physically endowed. 
It is good to be athletic; it is good to be 
scholarly; it is good to be honourable, pa- 
tient, loving, and helpful. It is not best to 
be an ignorant athlete; it is not best to be a 
dyspeptic bookworm; it is not even best to be 
an unhuman fanatic. Unillumined brutality, 
selfish insatiable curiosity and vanity of 
mind, and intolerant righteousness, are all 
equally unlovely. It is obviously best to be 
a man, with the strength and understanding 
and honour of a man. 

Ethical culture, mental culture, physical 
culture, each is excellent and all are neces- 
sary, but no one of them will suffice, indeed 
no two of them can satisfy without the third. 
Only in harmonious and well-balanced co- 
operation can they further that highest per- 
sonal development, that supreme reach of 
ideals and growth, which may be the aim of 



any one of them. All three are of equal dig- 
nity, importance, and delight, and no one of 
them can attain its best efficiency without the 
aid of the others to inspire and guide and 
reinforce it. More than that, their spheres, 
which seem so different, are really not dis- 
tinct nor separable, and each must continu- 
ally either cripple or complement the others. 
The soul, the centre and source of volition, 
with its perceptions and aspirations, ever 
leading in the progress to perfection, needs to 
be closely seconded by intelligent guidance 
and carried to the fullest achievement by ade- 
quate skilful execution. We need never 
imagine that spiritual attainments can be suc- 
cessfully forced at the expense of the guides 
and servants of the spirit, the intellectual and 
physical powers. We must care before we 
can know, and we must know before we can 
do; nor may we even be content with caring 
and with knowledge, until we add to them 
well-skilled effort toward the realization of 
our ideals. In no other way can we develop 



and appreciate and enjoy the power of per- 
sonal poise. 

The practical advantage of poise and its 
chiefest sanction is the opportunity it affords 
for spiritual precedence, for proving the pri- 
macy of the will and the fortunate prefer- 
ences of the soul. It makes a vantage from 
which the best may be attempted, a starting- 
point from which the avenues to the fairest 
good are seen to radiate, a condition from 
which life may spring normally to its finest 
stature. Poise endows us with power to stop 
and consider, to use our intelligence and judg- 
ment, and so improve through every contin- 
gency. Habitual poise is the essential pre- 
requisite of freedom for happy endeavour 
and satisfactory growtfi. 

A conception of the value of personal poise 
as the worthiest ideal of education was em- 
phasized by Cecil Rhodes in founding his 
Oxford scholarships. It has been instinc- 
tively felt by students themselves as a legit- 
imate need of aspiring human nature, but it 


Zf^t JWaKfng of JH^ttaonuHis 

has not yet had such general authoritative 
recognition as it deserves. Rhodes helped to 
give it practical currency and prestige. In 
effect his great gift is a criticism of our in- 
complete system, and points the direction in 
which mediaeval standards of culture are to 
be enlarged. It calls for men in whom schol- 
arship is to be supplemented by correspond- 
ing physical and spiritual excellence. It de- 
mands poise of character rather dian excess 
of learning. It is a strong, successful man's 
endorsement of the ideal of personal poise. 
r If personal poise — tfie symmetrical devel- 

/ oping and perfecting of all our capacities in 
? < the building of character — could be made a 
widely accepted ideal of culture, it would do 
more than any specific social revolution to 

^v^ensure greater happiness for all mortals. 

Is not such a valuation of poise really the 
underlying principle we try to reach in all 
attempts to simplify living? Is not the satis- 
faction we feel in any such simplification 
really a satisfaction at finding ourselves re- 


stored to a normal poise? Are not our lives 
apt to be unsatisfying because they are partial 
and ill balanced, excessive in some directions 
and falling short in others? The simple life 
cannot be a worthy ideal if it is to mean a 
meagre and insufficient life, but only if it is 
to mean an undistorted and well-balanced 
one. Perfect poise seems simple, because it 
is so unperplexing and wholly satisfying. To 
simplify living is only advantageous and ben- 
eficial in so far as it permits a richer and freer 
and more complete enjoyment of the few 
pursuits which are vital and worth while. 
Our average life, particularly our average 
city life, is apt to be overwrought and ill- 
regulated, as we all know. To return to sim- 
pler conditions would not be to impoverish 
human experience, but to enrich it; we should 
gain in health, in merriment, in leisure, in 
wisdom and length of days; we should lose 
only our anxieties, our ailments, our ill-tem- 
pers, and our debts. There can hardly be 
room for choice. But such a return, let us 


remember, can only be successful if it is car- 
ried out in conformity with the ideal of per- 
sonal poise, and with the threefold needs of 
personal life constantly in mind. A life 
somewhat nearer to the earth than we live 
now could hardly fail to be more vigorous, 
more delightful, more normal. Instead of 
sensational criminality, frenzied ambition, 
and fashionable artificiality, we should be 
able to acquire something of sincerity, come- 
liness, and kindly joy. 

Slowly but certainly the truth of this ideal 
is coming to be recognized. The need for 
such a standard is felt in innumerable ways, 
though as yet we may not definitely discern 
its import. The restless spirit of the patient 
world, always seeking the best, has been 
driven from one extreme point of view to an- 
other in the long course of history, confused 
by the clamour of the senses, the cry of the 
soul, and the insatiable curiosity of the im- 
perious mind. Must we not believe that it is 
in some fortunate hour to find the ideal which 


shall make possible the harmonizing of its 
seemingly divergent aims and expedients? 
What if the ideal of symmetrical develop- 
ment and normal personal poise should prove 
just the saving principle it seeks? 

As poise serves as a happy criterion of ex- 
cellence of personality, and a most advan- 
tageous standard of culture, so in physical 
training, physical poise provides us with tfie 
only adequate standard of physical beauty 
and efficiency. Such an ideal implies the 
equal development and control of every por- 
tion of the body, the culture and maintenance 
of its every perfection, and the habitual use 
of all its powers in harmonious accordance 
with the most effective and economic laws of 
motion and growth. To be able to attain 
such poise, the body must be made strong 
and free, must be fostered in a symmetrical 
growth, and above all must be considered as 
the inseparable manifestation of the inform- 
ing mind and the indwelling spirit. More- 
over physicah poise can only be attained 


through the ideal of personal poise. The 
first physical need of the natural man is for 
exercise, but for us modems there is one thing 
even more needed than exercise, and that is 
bodily emancipation. It is evident that the 
body must have freedom to stretch and read- 
just itself in every direction before it can 
poise itself normally and adapt its poise to 
any and all conditions. 

We speak of the mechanism of the human 
body, with its many joints and levers, its com- 
pensations and balances, and its complicated 
movements, but we must beware of consider- 
ing it too exclusively as a machine. It is so 
far more subtle, significant, and adaptable 
than any mere mechanical contrivance, so sen- 
sitive, so variable, and so intelligent. There 
is infinite ingenuity in these human mechan- 
isms, but there are preference and sensibility 
and responsibility as well, all within an al- 
most incredible frailty allied with amazing 
strength. Our bodies have many of the char- 
acteristics of a machine, but they have also 


many of the traits of a selfCactive intelligence, 
and must be treated accordingly. 

The admirable structure of the animal 
skeleton serves, indeed, to lend rigidity to the 
body, but it also serves for points of attach- 
ment of elastic muscles whose express pur- 
pose is to modify that rigidity, just as our 
senses modulate our thought. The muscular 
system, under the guidance of instinct, seeks 
to secure the safety of the individual by not 
opposing the manifold casualties of existence 
with an unyielding solidity, and by interpo- 
sing an ever- ready flexibility that lessens shock 
and avoids breakage, enabling us to pass tol- 
erably well through a world of insensate op- 
position, of stress and resistance and friction. 

Power to spring from the ground and 
alight again without fracturing ourselves is 
a privilege we share with our four-footed 
brothers of the field. In jumping they do not 
light on rigid heels with straightly stiffened 
legs, like a table dropped from a window. 
A fox goes over a wall as lightly as a drift 


of snoWy and even an elephant, for all his 
huge bulk, seems to move as softly as a mould 
of jelly. Though few of us can be as grace- 
ful as foxes, we may all avoid cruel shocks 
by alighting on the muscular balls of the feet 
with spread toes and flexed knees. . The im- 
petus of the body may thus be stopped grad- 
ually, considerately, without violence, almost 
without impact, by the intervention of mus- 
cular alertness, strength, and elasticity, under 
voluntary adequate control. All poise and 
every movement of our bodies should have 
something of the pliancy and ease of the great 
cats, those paragons of grace with their soft, 
undulating strength, their powerful quies- 
cence, and noiseless activity. 

It almost goes without saying that in order 
to move well, one must first breathe well, sit 
well, stand well. To stand well, there are 
two things chiefly necessary, first, that the 
chest should be carried well up and forward, 
and second that the weight should balance 
pliantly over the balls of the feet and spread 


toes, — a spirited, intelligent, adaptable body 
on an adequate base of support. 

The question of good breathing is so 
closely related to proper carriage that the 
two can scarcely be considered separately. 
It is hardly possible to breathe well while sit- 
ting or standing or lying improperly, and it 
is not practicable habitually to stand prop- 
erly without breathing well. Good breath- 
ing, like fine carriage, requires that the chest 
should be habitually upheld and automatic- 
ally carried by the well-developed chest mus- 
cles as high as is comfortable, that the great 
life-giving lungs may have room for their ^ 
utmost utility. And this condition must be 
maintained whether one is sitting, standing, 
walking, running, dancing, talking, reading, 
or working, in fact through every hour of 
life. Particular care must be taken not to 
thrust up the chest by overinhaling, nor by 
holding the breath, nor by raising the shoul- 
ders, nor by making the rib muscles tense, 
nor yet by an undue bending backward of 


the spinal column at the small of the back. 
The forward carriage and uplift of the chest 
must be secured by exercising the pull and 
hold of the muscles of the chest and back of 
the neck, the stretch of the rib muscles, and 
by swaying the whole body forward from 
foot to crown, with a very slight mobile for- 
ward bend at the hips. And even these direc- 
tions must be taken with discretion. The 
backbone is not a ramrod; and the fashion 
of pulling the hips back and pushing the 
chest forward with perfectly rigid spine, as 
if the body were only jointed at the waist, is 
^ as unlovely as any other abnormal posture. 
The human body is not a flail, with only one 
joint in the middle. At its best it is as flexible 
as a whip. 

'' Light and lithe ts a willow wind. 
She danced, and the monarch held her hand,*' 

embodies the ideal of graceful poise ; and to 
attain it, gymnastics for poise must be taught 
gnd practised until the muscles grow so fitted 


9tie VBiufitXi TUt0V9 

and used to their task that good carriage be- 
comes an unconscious habit. 

Other requirements of good breathing need 
not be detailed here, further than to say that 
the throat and entire trunk should be kept 
wholly unrestricted and mobile, ready for 
automatic or well-controlled service. The 
whole body from nose to lower abdomen is 
needed to command the best breathing, and 
must be given strong free play at all points 
in order to be fully serviceable. This point 
is so important that one of the first and last 
words of physical culture to-day must be, 
Breathe well. This accompanies the other 
two injunctions. Poise well, and Move worth- 

Poise should never be mistaken as synon- 
ymous with pose or immobility. It is simply 
balance, the most advantageous natural ad- 
justment, to be infinitely modified and util- 
ized whether we are in motion or at rest. It 
is the normal state of all being. For con- 
venience we may distinguish three different 


erne iWattfti0 of ^tvuonullis 

kinds of poise: static poise, as in a tripod; 
dynamic poise, as in the position of the Fly- 
ing Mercury or a runner at the start; and 
kinetic poise, as of a bird in the air. The 
difference between them is, of course, only a 
question of adaptation, — transitional and 
not fundamental; and it will be seen that 
one melts into the other insensibly at need. 
But the discrimination helps us to realize that 
under no condition is perfect physical poise 
unavailable nor unimportant, nor to be dis- 
regarded without serious disadvantage. 

That there is only one way to stand is of 
course not true. Poise must suit its condi- 
tions. The identical poise that befits a piano- 
mover will not serve the dancer. The golfer 
and the Japanese wrestler must stand differ- 
ently. For all that, there is a normal poise 
for the standing human figure, which gives 
the maximum stability, combined with a 
maximum latitude for swaying without loss 
of balance, and from which transitions may 
most easily be made to meet whatever de- 


El^t CSftftigelr Tutors^ 

mands may arise. This one way of standing 
is generally more economically serviceable 
than others and therefore more beautiful; 
while there are many ways which are awk- 
ward and injurious and essentially unlovely. 
Good poise is a matter of utilizing the most 
serviceable base of support without sacrific- 
ing supple ease and readiness for action. 

The best alert standing position is the one 
which affords the body the surest and easiest 
support, and at the same time the greatest 
freedom and facility for prompt effective 
movement in any direction. The position 
which oftenest and best serves this double 
purpose is one in which the weight is upheld 
and forecarried over the ball of one foot, 
while the other foot is dropped a little back, 
resting lightly to help balance and ready to 
swing forward at need, the knees being 
slightly flexed and never thrown flatly back. 
The heel of the forward foot carries almost 
none of the weight, merely touching the 
ground to help the balance. The heel of the 


idle foot is clear of the ground altogether. 
The balls of the feet are not much more than 
the length of a foot apart. The weight may 
be swayed occasionally from the ball of one 
advanced foot to the ball of the other, ad- 
vanced in turn^ or for rest or greater static 
strength it may be held equally between the 
balls of the two feet, in which case far greater 
solidity of poise is secured. This is the basis 
of physical poise in which the maximum sup- 
ple stability consistent with general alertness 
is attained. This "normal poise** will be 
found most economic and untiresome, giving 
amplest latitude for the body to sway with- 
out toppling, and at the same time permitting 
it to get into motion easily and without agi- 
tation. Since it is so serviceable an adjust- 
ment, it is as a natural consequence a graceful 
one. / 

A distinctive requisite of good living poise 
is that the weight of the body should be car- 
ried lightly, with elation, with spirit, with 
elasticity. Our legs, in readiness for action, 


are not stilts nor posts made to shore us up 
above the earth. They arfe obedient flexible 
springs, powerfully hinged at hip and knee 
and (with the most powerful spring of all) 
at the ankle. This special mechanism, par- 
ticularly the great contractile spring in the 
calf of the leg, which plies the ankle hinge, 
is intended to cushion the impacts of the body 
and let it ride springily and comfortably 
hither and thither. To get this advantage 
from it, we must use the mechanism properly, 
bringing our muscles into play and keeping 
them voluntarily under control, in sitting 
and standing as well as in walking. When- 
ever the body is upright, its muscles must be 
on active duty, supporting or moving it. 
Muscles need not be tense in order to be in 
control, but they must be alive and ready for 
service. They must keep the body balanced 
and prepared for motion. In standing, this 
can only be done when control of the weight 
is shared by the muscles of the foot as well 
as by those of the leg and trunk. When the 


erne iWattiti0 of iPerisoiijattff 

weight is thrast down through the rigid bones 
of the leg upon the heel, in a lazy attempt 
to shirk muscular exertion, there can be no 
suppleness of poise, no softness of tread, no 
elegance of carriage, no ease nor magnetism 
of motion. 

It is true that many persons have not 
strength enough in the foot and ankle to stand 
and walk normally without undue fatigue; 
but this weakness is itself the result of long 
habits of imperfect carriage and inferior mo- 
tion. Inefficiency is the inevitable result of 
misuse or disuse. If we were taught cor- 
rectly in childhood, if we never used artificial 
heels, but gave our ankles and toes the train- 
ing of natural free exercise, and transmitted 
the results to our children, we should soon 
all have the strength of leg and foot that we 
were designed to have. We should all enjoy 
a distinct gain in general vigour, and a cov- 
eted access of usefulness and beauty. 

In contrast with beautiful normal poise of 
the human figure, many bad poses are preva- 


erne WLtnut^ trfctntff 

lent, in which the body is not in poise at all. 
Modern sculpture as well as the modern 
drawing-room is full of them. Particularly 
unfortunate is the posture, very common in 
society, on the stage, in dancing, and even 
in plastic art, wherein the weight is rested 
entirely on the heel or flat of one foot, with 
the supporting knee sprung back and the idle 
leg thrust forward. The body is almost in 
unstable equilibrium. A touch would tip it 
backward. At the same time it is quite un- 
prepared for action. Before locomotion can 
take place in any direction, the protruded leg 
must be drawn in, stable equilibrium re- 
established, and muscular control regained. 
It is not only a most uneconomic position, 
but an unattractive and ill-meaning one as 

Man is neither quadrupedal nor winged; 
he is aspiring though not wholly detachable 
from the good solid ground. He is buoyed 
and swayed by emotions impalpable as the 
wind, and yet he is inescapably related to the 


sure foundations of material needs. He 
stands on the earthy this figure of glowing 
clay, inspired with the uplifting breath of 
the infinite. At his best he is well poised 
between two realms. We feel this harmony 
of adjustment in every gracious and worthy 
presence wherein the perfection of poise is 
achieved. It is one of the supreme triumphs 
of art. Only think how gloriously the 
Winged Victory takes the eye! How easily 
she is victorious! Her splendid breast is up- 
borne by lofty inspiration which carries her 
forward with fluttering robes^ light-footed, 
unwavering, rejoicing almost with the free- 
dom of the winged creatures of the air, an 
incomparable apparition of triumphant glad- 
ness. Of all the shapes of clay fashioned by 
man, her poise is the noblest and most inspir- 
ing. She lifts our drooping spirits to new 
endeavour, to larger hope, to heights of in- 
credible daring. And the Flying Mercury, 
how good is his potent poise! The magic of 
those winged sandals touches the spirit of 


sue CSftfngelr Vittotp 

every beholder, and we are carried away like 
children under the spell of the fabulous old 
legend of the messenger god, master of speed, 
conqueror of space and time, the prototype 
of modem ambition. As the divinity who 
presided over commerce, too, he would have 
an especial interest for our day; but while we 
emulate his swiftness and shrewdness, perhaps 
only too well, let us remember his delicacy 
of bearing and his exquisite poise, as he hangs 
with balanced feet light as a swallow on a 
slant of wind. 

In daily life, too, how good it is to see fine 
poise, and alas, how rare! How it catches 
every eye in the street, in the drawing-room, 
upon the stage! It is the basis of fine per- 
sonal influence, the foundation of enduring 
beauty, the centre from which powerful im- 
pressiveness must radiate. A large part of 
that strange personal potency which we call 
magnetism is the direct and inevitable result 
of fine poise, — the victory of the "happy 



While personal magnetism is primarily a 
spiritual power and has its source in the soul, 
it yet must find its avenues of expression 
through the body. And it is the breast that 
is peculiarly the abode of the spirit. It is in 
the upper part of the body, between the dia- 
phragm and the head, that the two great 
ceaseless life-sustaining functions are carried 
on, — the come and go of the vital breath, 
and the frail but enduring rhythm of the 
heart. It is in the breast that the evidences 
of emotion and passion are first made mani- 
fest, — in the quickened heart-beat and per- 
turbed breathing, — whether we be moved 
by love or sudden indignation, by terror or 

This region of the breast with its acces- 
sories, the arms, in distinction from the head, 
which is the seat of the brain and mind, and 
in distinction from the lower body where the 
animal operations of nutrition, reproduction, 
and locomotion are carried on, is eminently 


the emotional realm^ and was called by Del- 
sarte, " The zone of honour." 

" A man of heart," we say, meaning one of 
generous and kindly spirit. The breast is 
almost a synonym for the dwelling-place of 
love and hate, of hope and fear and courage. 
It is on our mother's breast that we first learn 
tenderness and the welling power of the feel- 
ings. It is to our breast that we gather all 
that is most cherished in life. It is to the 
breast of our benignant mother earth, as we 
call her, that we ourselves are gathered at 
last. Hand may touch hand in acknowledg- 
ing acquaintanceship; the arm may circle the 
shoulder in friendship; but in deepest love 
the breast receives the cherished head of the 

It is this fact, — that the breast is the centre 
of our spiritual and expressive nature, — that 
makes good carriage of the chest so impress- 
ive and so important. Though you meet me 
eye to eye, and offer me specious conversa- 


SCfie ittsftftiii of M^tvttonuiiia 

tion, — promises or threats^ — if your chest is 
sunken, I feel there is a lack of heart in your 
assurances. But if your chest is bravely fore- 
carried and upborne, I can have no doubt of 
the conviction and determination and well- 
intentioned sincerity behind it. If a nurse 
enters a sick-room, walking on her heels, with 
head and abdomen protruded, while her chest 
is a mere hollow between her shoulders, who 
can imagine that she could ever inspire the 
least hope or cheer in any patient? I have 
seen a very capable actress, in the role of 
Melisande, attempt to enlist the interest of 
her audience in the spiritual plight of that 
character, and fail utterly to win sympathy, 
simply because she never once lifted her chest 
through the whole performance. For the 
sunken chest means more than physical weak- 
ness; it means moral dejection, discourage- 
ment, cowardice, and defeat, as the lifted 
chest means not only strength, but elation, 
courage, confidence, kindliness, and hope. 
The sunken chest, which is the indication 


SCtie wainfitlt Vltiovs 

of the dispirited weakling, may evoke pity; 
it can hardly elicit interest or sympathy. We 
sympathize willingly and readily with the 
noble in misfortune, but for the ignoble there 
must always be a reserve in our commisera- 
tion. Whoever would not appear ignoble 
and risk actually becoming so, must ever pre- 
sent a brave, happy breast to the world. 
Since we are spiritual beings, it is respectful 
and generous that we should meet spirit to 
spirit, that we should show our best selves to 
one another. 

If I meet a stranger, I am glad to have 
him approach me with so gracious and dig- 
nified a bearing that I must instinctively rise 
to receive him. If he struts toward me 
throwing forward his stomach and feet first, 
I am naturally not attracted to him. I wish 
to meet the man, not his legs and digestion*; 
nor should I be more pleasantly prepossessed 
if he came toward me with the shiftless walk 
and protruded head of the absorbed and over- 
mentalized person. In either case I perceive 


SCfie ittsftftiii of ^tvuonulltp 

he is more concerned with himself than with 
others, and is not happily infused with the 
great universal breath of the spirit, which is 
common to all men, and which alone vitalizes 
every interest and sustains and ennobles life. 

The importance of a good carriage, there- 
fore, is not only a matter of health and econ- 
omy and grace in motion ; it is quite as much 
a matter of personal influence and obligation. 
A well-poised body, while expressing a well- 
poised character, reacts in turn on that char- 
acter to help and enrich the whole personal- 
ity. To bear oneself with grace and kindly 
dignity is to foster and breed graciousness 
and self-respect, as well as to disseminate 

" The soul is at ease in the body only when 
it is using it as a means of expression or ac- 
tion." So when art would embody in beauty 
the idea of triumph without weariness, of 
glad elation untouched by envious defeat, of 
high intelligence overcoming the barbarous 
and base, — when it would add to the fairest 


human loveliness some hint of superhuman 
power and dominion over a region more vast 
than earthy — it created the Victory of the 
Wings, to be a lasting signal before our won- 
dering eyes, and an incentive to that dignity 
of bearing which we behold only in the rarest 


It is evident that in the making of person- 
ality the acquirement of poise is not enough. 
The advice of the Latin poet, that we should 
preserve an equal mind in the midst of dif- 
ficulties, is excellent; but equanimity, even 
an ideal equilibrium of all our powers, is 
hardly a sufficient goal for human endeavour. 
We are not aspirants of a passive and crjrstal- 
line perfection, but must find our satisfactions 
in activity, in achievement, in human inter- 
course and relationships. We take more 
pleasure in modifying life, in mingling widi 
the tumultuous business of the world, in leav- 


sue SSlV^w String 

ing some traces of our impress upon the 
events of the great human drama, than in any 
isolation of self, however learned or holy. 
The most blameless character must be doing, 
if it would be glad. This is one of the un- 
questionable laws. 

To be poised is not to be immobile always, 
for there is poise of motion as well as of rest. 
For a mortal to cease from growth, from ac- 
tion, from exertion, is to cease from enjoy- 
ment and to begin to decline and perish. 
Poise is only the springboard of performance, 
the pou sto of the Greek mathematician, from 
which we may move the world. It is a pre- 
requisite of personal happiness and power, 
the very acme of education, and yet not a suf- 
ficient end in itself, — a most desirable con- 
dition of being, but by no means the ultimate 
concern of creation. The supreme artistry 
of the cosmos in which we share, calls for 
initiative and toil as well as for the duty of 
self-perfection and repose. We may well di- 
rect all the efforts for culture to the attain- 


ment of poise, but the object of culture after 
all is only preparatory, — to put our energies 
in the happiest condition for accomplishing 
ideal ambitions and practical purposes in the 
world. To be well poised is indeed a first 
necessity, but to rest content with poise is to 
be already touched with death. 

The personality without poise is baffled, 
chaotic, blundering, and unhappy in its own 
bewildered inefficiency, no matter how furi- 
ously it may strive. But the personality in 
which poise has been secured is already on 
the threshold of felicity, and may pass at one 
step into the region of happy experience. 
Whatever mischance may come to it, what- 
ever natural sorrow may visit it with grief, 
no irrevocable disaster can befall such a one. 
Yet with all the universe in flux, man cannot 
stand still; and the individual being must 
maintain its poise from moment to moment, 
from deed to deed, balancing and rebalan- 
cing for self-preservation amidst the oppos- 
ing tides of force. 


sue SUIitv Sbtvlnn 

But every personality is itself endowed 
with force, with power, with preference and 
intelligence. It cannot endure to be merely 
passive, but must energize in order to be 
happy. As poise is a normal state of being, 
of the personality, and a natural ideal for it, 
no less so is achievement. Achievement at 
touch of need springs from poise as inevitably 
as circling ripples spring from the placid 
surface when a pebble is cast into a still pool. 
Sometimes a single little seed of suggestion 
dropped into the brooding mind is enough to 
start a lifelong train of consequent activities. 
If the personality be unpoised and ruffled, 
then the circles of widening influence are 
confused and broken and dissipated. 

It is no vague figure of poetic fancy to 
speak of personal rhythm, or to say that every 
personality, like every violin, is possessed of 
a marked vibratory character peculiar to it- 
self, which is indeed the index of its excel- 
lence, the measure of its power, and the 
means of carrying its communications across 


the gulfs of space. Just as violins differ in 
make and timbre, personalities differ in poise 
and vibrancy. Timbre is the peculiar qual- 
ity revealed in execution, unique in every in- 
stance. Personal vibrancy is the peculiar 
inseparable quality of the individual, which 
reveals itself not only in characteristic mo- 
tion and speech, but also in that mysterious 
form which almost defies analysis, and yet 
accomplishes with infinite subtlety the ex- 
pressive and impressive purposes of the per- 
sonality as effectively as the most unmistaka- 
ble gesture or tone. If the wonderful timbre 
of an old Cremona cannot be duplicated nor 
explained, how can we hope to define this 
essential vibrancy inherent in the personali- 
ties of men? The one depends, we say, upon 
the fibre of the wood, its cunning form and 
age; the other lurks in the recesses of being, 
modified plainly by build, temperament, and 
mentality, by inheritance and experience; 
and both possess awesome powers beneficent 
or malign. But does that dispel the marvel 


of their presence or make clear the secret of 
their lure? 

There is no manifestation of life that is not 
vibrant. Even the inorganic world vibrates 
through all its substance, the unseen particle 
and the unseen planet responding alike to the 
throb of cosmic vibration, pulsating in the 
crucible under the stir of chemic change or 
pendulous in space under the sway of gravi- 
tation. The great active primal forces of the 
universe, heat, light and electricity, are, so 
far as physicists can tell, all modes of motion 
or vibrancy, and are convertible because they 
are fundamentally the same. They differ 
only in the time or force or shape of their 
vibration, and any one of them may be 
changed into any other as easily as we glide 
from one tune to the next in the realm of 

We who are the complex products of this 
natural world must be compounded only of 
the materials and forces found within it. 
The vibrancy of light enables us to see, the 


vibrancy of sound enables us to hear; out 
taste, our smell, our touch, are only faculties 
for recording vibrations in the universe 
around us. The most primordial functions 
of the living organism, breathing and circula- 
tion of the blood, are rhythmical. Even our 
hunger and thirst are timed to a slow peri- 
odicity, and swing from lulled inactive ease 
to restless demand with a certain regularity. 
At times the flood of waking energy sweeps 
through us like a compelling tide, and after 
its due period of joyous accomplishment ebbs 
away again, leaving us to fatigue, languor, 
and sleep. The rhythm of the breath and the 
beating of the pulse are only the more obvi- 
ous and gross forms of personal vibration, but 
they parallel another and more impalpable 
sort of vibration which exists not only in the 
person but in the personality. This latter sort 
of vibrancy, a personal vibration which is 
characteristic of the individual, is indeed 
largely dependent upon physical peculiari- 
ties, and is modified by them; its origin, its 


Q^tie Sfmet &tvlnfi 

intensity, its quality, are always partly phjrs- 
ical ; yet it is equally a psychic power and a 
revelation of the inward personality. It is 
not possessed equally by all people, nor do 
those who are endowed^ with it possess it 
equally at all times. In many it is so slight 
as to seem to be almost wholly wanting, so 
that we declare at once, they have no mag- 
netism. In others it is so strong and forceful 
that the very air seems charged with their 
presence, and we are aware of an almost pal- 
pable influence radiating from them wher- 
ever they may be. It is as variable as mood, 
and differs in different men and women as 
much as temper or disposition. 

Vibrancy is never wholly lacking in the 
human being, in some degree or other, but it 
is often so faint and vague as to be almost 
indistinguishable and inoperative. Sickness 
impairs it, confusion and doubtfulness of 
mind render it ineffectual, and a wilful des- 
pondency may destroy it at its source. At its 
best, however, it is a great power; and like 


sue iHaKfnii ot l$tv»onmip 

any other supreme characteristic of human 
clay may be cultivated with intelligent care 
or ignored and thwarted and ruthlessly des- 
troyed. It behooves those who have it abun- 
dantly to guard it scrupulously as one of the 
most precious of gifts and to use it wisely for 
beneficent ends ; while those who have it only 
to a small degree could hardly do better than 
attempt to increase it by educating so potent 
an ability. 

To call it personal magnetism does not ex- 
plain this subtle power at all, nor elucidate its 
obscure character, but it proves how familiar 
we are with it in every-day life. Its actual 
existence is very real and pervasive, only we 
need to give it rational recognition and treat- 
ment, as something quite as worthy of respect 
and culture as any of the more salient traits 
of personality. It is more powerful than 
beauty, more effective than intelligence. 
Serving each human being, like a prompt 
and eager messenger, just as electricity serves 
us in a mechanical way, it aids inestimably 


in all the strenuous forceful dealings of men 
and all the glad or grievous concerns of 
women, — that dramatic interplay of charac- 
ter which goes to make up the sum of human 
happiness or woe. Obscure and little re- 
gardedy often inert or degraded, but never 
wholly dead, it resides at the very core of in- 
dividuality, like the hidden force which 
marks the identity of the atom and appears 
to be almost synonymous with life itself. 

To thrill with rapture or quiver with grief 
is no mere metaphor; the whole person re- 
sponds like a vibrant cord to the touch of 
experience; and spirit and sense are inex- 
tricably bound together, while life lasts, in 
one sentient organism through which its own 
thoughts, emotions, and sensations surge and 
throb, and to which its created fellows call 
and are apprehended in answering rhythms. 
And yet personal vibrancy or personal mag- 
netism, in the sense in which we are using 
the term, is not to be considered as a species 
of hypnotism, since hypnotism is an abnormal 


side iUaltftifl of 39et0onalfts 

phenomenon produced under extreme condi- 
tions, whereas personal magnetism is wholly 
normal, healthy, and a quality of every-day 

It may be that hypnotism is an exaggerated 
effect of personal vibrancy deliberately em- 
phasized and enforced; but the manifesta- 
tion which we are here calling vibrancy or 
magnetism, and which plays so important 
though inconspicuous a part in every mortal 
career, is by no means so extravagant or ex- 
ceptional a thing. It proceeds to no such 
extraordinary lengths as mesmerism, and yet 
its ends are similar, for its function in human 
economy is the serviceable communication of 
personal influence. Its invisible but cogent 
dictates carry inducement or authority wher- 
ever they go, eliciting some response wher- 
ever they pass, either of acquiescence or dis- 
sent. One can seldom remain wholly indif- 
ferent to its sway when once it is recognized, 
but must yield it some kind of acknowledg- 
ment, whether in compliance or aversion. 


Personal vibrancy is the automatic carrying 
power of the individual will; it sounds the 
personal note of the individual, and like the 
tones of sound must mingle in harmony or 
discord with every vibration it meets. 

In all the commonplace occurrences of 
every-day affairs, as in the crucial hours of 
life, personal magnetism is operative and pow- 
erful, — wherever two men meet in the .street, 
wherever business is transacted or speech ex- 
changed, wherever eyebeams meet and looks 
of understanding pass, wherever a gesture is 
recognized or an inflexion observed, in liking, 
in antipathy, and even in indifference. It 
is the power of the orator, the sorcery of the 
lover, the secret of the leader of forlorn 
hopes, the resource of the anxious hostess, the 
help of the physician, the reliance of the ad- 
vocate, and the preacher's most telling ap- 
peal. Personal vibrancy fires assemblies with 
enthusiasm and touches mobs with the mad- 
ness of fury or panic fear. Wherever a mor- 
tal soul perceive its fellow, the transmitting 


sue iHaltfnfl of 39et0onaUts 

power of personality is felt and exerted as a 
vibrant vital force. 

In the early days of mesmerism, the exist- 
ence of a certain mysterious magnetic fluid 
was postulated to account for the transmission 
of an apparently inexplicable personal influ- 
ence. That theory of course has long since 
been abandoned. But in thinking of vi- 
brancy as a personal quality, we need con- 
ceive of it in no such material or mysterious 
fashion. Only in its physical manifestation 
does personal vibration become something 
measurable to the senses. But there, indeed, 
whether we call it personal magnetism or ani- 
mal sympathy, it reveals itself in no dubious 
guise, with no uncertain power, as a deter- 
miner of choice, an indissuadable advocate 
of preference, in comradeship, in friendship 
and in love. To such lowly but honourable 
origin in the great kinship of nature may our 
mental and spiritual aflinities in part be 
traced. Responding with a glad elation to 
an accent of sympathy, a glance of compre- 


side Sbll^tv Sbtvint 

hension, a touch of kindred vibrancy, and 
ignoring quite as arbitrarily other stimuli 
which might seem to sober judgment no less 
compelling and delightful, the sensitive mor- 
tal takes his way through the confusion of 
life, choosing his associates, his companions, 
his bosom-friends, at the bidding of an in- 
stinct seemingly no more rational than vagu- 
est whim. Yet choice is not whimsical. We 
may trust the predilections of instinct and in- 
tuition if only they be kept fine and unde- 
based. We may make sure that a true and 
kindly relation is attainable first or last in the 
rarer spheres of spirit and intelligence be- 
tween any two beings whose senses have first 
felt a glad response in the recognition of sym- 
pathetic vibration, — that silver string which 
binds together the hearts and heads and hands 
of friends and lovers. Woven of tactile sense, 
of iridescent light, of rhythmic sound, this 
fine thread on which the living beads of per- 
sonality are strung is a strand of that mighty 
cord which holds the glowing stars to their 


sue iUaltfns of 39et0onalfts 

centres as they circle through their purple 

Personal vibrancy implies and requires 
tension. And vibrant tension implies chiefly 
three things, power, sensibility and freedom 
of vibration, — the power which resides in 
energy and strength, the sensibility or deli- 
cacy which comes of experience, and the free- 
dom which is only born of courage. 

Being inseparable from the physical as it 
is, personal magnetism must find its chief 
means of growth and recuperation and re- 
enforcement in a salutary bodily culture and 
code. Unless the physique be sound, eflficient, 
and in its best condition, personal vibrancy 
must be impaired. The singing wire from 
which glad music is to issue must be taut, or 
it will not vibrate at all, and to hold it taut 
the attachments at either end must be strong 
and fixed. There can be no harmony, there 
cannot even be a responsive sound from a 
slackened string. To keep the cord of per- 
sonal relation tuneful, therefore, its points of 



sue &mtt: Sttfn0 

fixture must be firm. To look for adequate 
responsiveness and potent magnetism from a 
weak or sickly body is like expecting reso- 
nance from punk, or resilience from a broken 
spring. That magic power, so subtle yet so 
inescapable, which is felt to surround every 
forceful personality and lay a spell on all 
who come within its range, can only have its 
origin in the happy spontaneity of a poised 
and wholesome body. Vigour is a prime 
requisite of personal vibrancy. 

It is good to feel that we are maintaining 
our vigour not merely for itself alone, — not 
only for the sensuous satisfaction of perfect 
health, great as that benefit is. There is a 
further satisfaction in maintaining physical 
energy at its finest perfection, when we have 
consciously in mind its ever present value in 
strengthening mental vigour and spiritual 
force, — in enhancing personality and per- 
sonal relations, — when we recall that health 
is not only the basis of endurance but of influ- 
ence and success. To consider physical vig- 


sue illaltfnfl of 39et0onalfts 

our in this light adds a noble and fascinating 
interest to life, and stimulates the wisest care 
of our animal selves, the magical bodies 
which we too often misuse and degrade, and 
which a false and iniquitous asceticism has 
even led men to despise. 

To keep the bodily instrument in healthy 
tone and capably vibrant, we must keep it 
supplied first of all with food and air and 
freedom. These are the great basic necessi- 
ties of life, from which intelligence and joy 
and power are to be made. The engine must 
be kept going at its best, no matter what un- 
happiness or misfortune may threaten. A 
plentiful supply of the best food we can ob- 
tain, and an abundant supply of pure cold 
air, these arc the requisites never to be omit- 
ted. An unstinted use of cold water and 
quiet sleep materially help us all to make the 
most of our opportunity for success and glad- 
ness. As much time as possible in the great 
fresh out-of-doors, where our natures are at 
home, is medicine for many ills and brings 

1 20 

sue SUtift Sbtvinn 

unguessed reinforcements of vitality to the 
thwarted spirit. Perplexities will often van- 
ish like a pallid sickness in open sunshine. 
And, be it soberly said, tired nerves may be 
wonderfully refreshed by resting or sleeping 
on the naked ground, where all their jangling 
rhythms may be reattuned and their discord- 
ant pain absorbed by the great unseen mag- 
netic currents of the earth. Our strength is 
sapped, the very sources of our vitality are 
cut off by floors and pavements, just as we can 
be insulated from electricity by a rubber shoe. 
We grow artificial and distraught in exile 
from our native resting-place. Something 
of the strong, instinctive, and normal life of 
the creatures of the field is needed in the 
finest civilization, — their natural honesty, 
their unperverted instinct, their lawful per- 
sistence and unembarrassed repose. We may 
well retain, too, all that we can of the animal 
habit of orderly motion, — that unconscious 
adherence to a natural individual rhythm in 
all movements which the wild things always 


SUf iHaltfns of 39et0onaltts 

exhibit and which no domestication can spoil. 
To this end the cultivation of normal motion 
is important, the most rhythmical exercise is 
best. And for this reason all exercise is bene- 
ficial only when it is adapted to the personal 
rhythm, as well as to the other physical and 
personal needs of the individual. 

Though personal magnetism is thus pal- 
pably physical in its basis, none the less is it 
appreciably spiritual and rational in its com- 
position and function, helping our personali- 
ties to find their proper scope and wield their 
proper influence in life. While its power is 
rooted in strength and health, these alone are 
far from suflficient to secure and perfect it. 
For no matter what amount of mere animal 
strength a man may possess, if he have not 
discriminating sensibility and courageous 
freedom as well, his personal value will be 
only rudimentary. Indeed if the equation of 
his personal make-up is lacking in any one of 
these necessary factors, the efliciency of his 
personal power cannot but be impaired. A 


Sflf SbWitV Sbitinfi 

personality, like a violin string, must have 
free play for its vibrations and accuracy of 
attunement along with its strength and tenac- 
ity; otherwise it can give forth only a crip- 
pled result The freedom of spirit we need 
for the maintenance of a finely strung per- 
sonal vibrancy is a matter of daring, of hav- 
ing the courage not only of our convictions 
but of our instincts and aspirations, of being 
undeterred by the puny fear of consequences 
or by the blind old tyranny of tradition. It 
is not enough to do our own thinking; we 
must do our own feeling and acting also. 

That factor in personal magnetism which 
we may call sensibility, delicacy , or intelli- 
gence of appreciation, controls the most ex- 
quisite quality of social intercourse and hu- 
man sympathy, and gives personality the 
power of quick perception, comprehension 
and judgment. It saves personal force from 
wasting itself on futile ends and in ill-advised 
endeavour. However fi»ely and resonantly 
a string may vibrate, it will not enhance any 


sue iffSattftifl of 3Pft0onaUts 

harmony unless it be struck in time and tune. 
To be off the key is as fatal in personal rela- 
tions as in music. Much that is vigorous and 
daring in personality is undone for want of 
delicacy, discrimination, understanding. It 
is the finest ingredient of personal being, this 
delicate and subtle wisdom; and while, like 
other endowments, it may be a gift at birth, 
it is also product of culture and experience. 
Children having plenty of physical health 
and often a splendid spiritual freedom, can- 
not have the commensurate sensitiveness of in- 
sight which experience gives. Their merci- 
less cruelty, their thoughtlessness, their lack 
of understanding are the result of ignorance 
and inexperience. 

But the artist in life, who has kept his body 
with all its forces unperverted, who has held 
his courage high through all vicissitudes of 
experience, will also have attained a vibrant 
sympathy with suffering and sorrow and the 
desolation of defeat. For the capable worker, 
lighted by imagination, experience develops 


SUf outlet Sttftifl 

a liberal sympathy^ a tolerant and kindly 
judgment, and a most sensitive understanding 
of the lights and shades of life. Time, that 
adds value to the violin, may also be made 
to bring skill to the fingers of the player. 
Else were we for ever at fault, and experience 
might leave us where it found us. 

As a practical summary it may be said that 
personal magnetism may best be fostered and 
retained by utilizing the natural laws of per- 
sonal rhythm, instinctive preference, and true 
adaptation; by never doing anything awk- 
wardly nor in disordered haste; by never 
violating a legitimate normal prompting or 
intuitive choice, merely because of the infat- 
uation of fashion or the intimidation of cus- 
tom; by never acting without kind consid- 
eration and liberal reason. So may our vi- 
brancy become a legitimate power for better- 
ment as well as a personal attainment and sat- 

Those who vibrate strongly, freely, and 
considerately, — who avoid alike the errors 


SUf iUattftifl of ^tvnonullts 

of weakness and of violence, of wilfulness 
and of timidity, of credulity and of intoler- 
ance, — and hold the fleeting gift of life in 
a capable balance of powers, are the masters 
of destiny and the benefactors of their fel- 
lows. They learn from practice that the test 
of success for any personality is that it shall 
yield the delectable harmony of this triple 
chord, sounding the notes of primordial en- 
ergy, humane sympathy, and ideal wisdom. 
Experience teaches them that personal vi- 
brancy is the silver string of life upon which 
the fairy music of happiness is made. 


In walking or running or dancing, the 
human body is seen at its best. Its static 
beauty of form then takes on another loveli- 
ness, — the charm of motion, the bewitching 
rhythms of grace. If we are captivated by 
its ravishing lines and tints in repose, we are 
more deeply enslaved when those lines and 
hues begin to move and melt through yield- 
ing curves from poise to poise. We then per- 
ceive the purport and power, the adaptabil- 
ity, ease and success, of its wonderful mechan- 
ism. If we were in love with the promise of 
its beauty, we are (though we may not know 
it) more completely in love with its perfec- 
tion of graceful and facile achievement. 


Sidf iUaltfns of 39f tsonaltts 

More than that, there is a sorcery in timed 
and modulated motion, which is inherent in 
all rhythms, and which lures us to respond, 
as surely as the charmer's pipe beguiles the 
serpent from his coils. The cultivation of 
grace is too fine to be achieved through arti- 
fice or affectation, and yet it may be acquired 
by lawful means ; and while it is not so much 
coveted as beauty is, because it is less realized, 
it is no less potent and delightful, and is more 
readily attainable. A properly comprehen- 
sive physical education will develop grace as 
certainly as vigour and strength. Indeed, 
grace must be the ultimate test of all culture 
of the body. 

With all our attention to outdoor sports, 
our college athletics, our innumerable schools 
of physical training, we cannot be said to be 
indifferent to bodily well-being, and another 
word on the subject may even seem superflu- 
ous. It is not the quantity of physical train- 
ing, however, which is open tO criticism, so 
much as its quality. While the amount of 


iitifitiiiii0 of eitutt 

care wc bestow on the culture of the body may 
be thought sufficient, — in our colleges, at 
least, — it is certainly for the most part lack- 
ing in the wisest guiding educational princi- 
ples, and is very rarely made to yield the best 
general results. The prime mistake seems to 
be that all except the greatest educators have 
overlooked the possibility of the higher edu- 
cation of motion. They have devoted them- 
selves exclusively to developing muscular and 
special strength, but that is very far from 
being enough. Strength, without the habit 
of using it with the utmost economy and ap- 
propriateness, is only of limited advantage. 

It is true that sports and athletics do culti- 
vate motion, and in the long run do give their 
kinds of dexterity and skill and physical effi- 
ciency. Our great natural bodily proficiency 
has been achieved through long ages of trial 
and practice in work and play, and the elim- 
ination of the inefficient. But it is not true 
that mere exercise in itself necessarily affords 
the most valuable education in motion or in- 


sue illaftfng of ipetsonalfts 

duces the best motional habits. The processes 
of natural selection are effective but ruthless, 
and attain their purpose with entire disregard 
for the individual. The blind cosmic forces 
which play through us produce perfection of 
the species in their own good time only by 
sacrificing with supreme unconcern myriads 
of the weak, mistaken, and ineffectual. 

It is the object of education to better this 
clumsy process, to discriminate among natural 
tendencies, to guide and assist evolution, to 
modify and adapt it to the crying need of each 
particular being. One might quite as well 
expect to become a good reader merely by 
persistently reading aloud without instruc- 
tion or criticism, as to hope to acquire good 
habits of motion by unaided practice alone. 
We forget that bad habits of motion, bad 
habits of walking or standing, may most eas- 
ily be acquired in childhood, and may 
be unconsciously and tenaciously retained 
through any amount of exercise, unless they 
are recognized by a competent instructor and 


lltlfittiiii0 of «t«re 

carefully eliminated, just as bad habits of 
speech — unpleasant tones and inefficient 
breathing — may be contracted in childhood 
and retained through life, unless duly cor- 
rected. Unguided exercise does not neces- 
sarily eradicate faults in the individual, but 
the faults merely tend to vitiate the exercise. 
The exercise of any faculty is of little educa- 
tional value, unless it is wisely directed with 
definite educational purpose. 

The average parent sees no necessity for 
giving his child any real physical education. 
" Because," he says, " the boy is not very 
strong. I think it better to give him plenty 
of outdoor life. Let him take his exercise as 
Nature intended." This sounds very well, 
but thtf difficulty is that Nature, while she is 
always trying to produce normal types, sets 
very little store by any separate life. A boy 
may have inherited a poor physique from his 
father and execrable habits of motion from 
his mother. To turn him loose to exercise by 
himself is to allow all his bad habits to be- 


sue illaftfng of ipetsonalfts 

come confirmed^ and his maldevelopment to 
be established. Nature would let him exer- 
cise himself to death. His weak inefficient 
body needs constant wise guidance and help; 
without these, he might almost as well and 
sometimes much better not exercise at all. A 
playground without a physical director is just 
about as useful as a schoolroom without a 
teacher. A child can exercise his mind with- 
out help, and does so every minute he is 
awake, but that does not mean that he can 
give himself a proper intellectual education. 
No more can he learn good motion, physical 
deftness and aptitude, merely by exercising 
his muscles in haphazard exertion. 

The youth at college is not much better oflf. 
He rows or runs or plays ball or uses the 
gymnasium without any idea beyond excel- 
ling in his favourite sport, outstripping his 
fellows in speed, or overmatching them in 
strength. He knows no other measure of 
physical excellence, — no standard of beauty 
or synnimetry of development. His only in- 


lltlfitl|iii0 of «t«re 

centive is the natural but pernicious sense of 
rivalry; and this leads him to specialize in 
directions where he is already most proficient, 
and to neglect his development in other di- 
rections where he needs it most He thus 
exaggerates his peculiarities of build and mo- 
tion, instead of correcting and supplementing 
them, and thus retards his own harmonious 
physical education. All good teachers, of 
course, deplore this tendency and strive to 
correct it; but since physical training is not 
compulsory in our educational system, their 
advice is seldom followed, the student prefer- 
ring to follow his own mistaken will. The 
man must beat his rivals, the college must 
beat its sister colleges, at any cost. So that 
college athletics, which might have so great 
an influence for nobility and beauty in form- 
ing American manhood, are actually always 
too near exhibitionary gladiatorial profes- 
sionalism, and tend to vulgarize and brutalize 
their students. 
Another danger to be avoided in physical 

sue maftftifl of |pet0onalfts 

education is an excess of simultaneous class- 
work. The good to be obtained from it, of 
course, is that it trains the pupil in habits of 
prompt cooperation, and gives him a sense 
of responsibility and of his relative impor- 
tance as a unit in an organized society. It 
teaches him to sink his identity in the general 
identity of the class. And it is just here that 
the danger of class work lies; for in teaching 
the pupil to keep time with others and move 
in unison with others, it tends to force him 
out of his natural rhythm and characteristic 
motion. Class drill may produce very pretty 
results for purposes of exhibition, it may save 
space and time in teaching; but at the same 
time it may do violence to the individual in- 
stinct and mechanism of every member of the 
class. Appropriate enough in military coun- 
tries like Germany, where discipline and the 
state are counted all-important, it is not at 
all appropriate in America, where the indi- 
vidual is valued above the system, where we 
are more concerned in making men than in 


len^s^mu of eitutt 

making machines, and where we esteem effi- 
cient spontaneity and originality more than 
stolidity and obedience. 

Perhaps the most flagrant example of the 
evil of class drill is to be found in an extraor- 
dinary performance in which ten or a dozen 
men stand in a file between two poles which 
they grasp in their hands. Then the arms 
are moved up and down, in and out, in vari- 
ous ways, just as they might be in many fig- 
ures of ordinary calisthenic drill. Here the 
performance is purely an exhibitionary feat, 
and is worse than valueless educationally. 
There is no possibility of any one of the per- 
formers keeping his own rhythm and quality 
of motion. He submits himself to an avera- 
ging machine, which cannot but impair his 
motional habits and trammel his spontaneous 
vitality. He might go through the same 
movements by himself with nothing but bene- 
ficial results; but when he follows them in 
this inflexible unison, he can receive nothing 
but injury. This is an instance of the truth 


sue mattftifl of |pet0onalfts 

that exercise may be injurious not only when 
it is excessive, but when it is foolish, ill-reg- 
ulated, and not adapted to individual good. 

It is of the greatest importance, therefore, 
that all pupils should be carefully educated 
individually before being allowed to do si- 
multaneous work. Their peculiar traits of 
rhythm and the manner of their motion have 
to be considered, and their peculiar faults 
corrected, before they can afford to exercise 
in unison with others. It is no more possible 
to give an individual proper physical train- 
ing through class work alone than it is to give 
him proper vocal training by the same means. 

When sufficient individual motion training 
has once been gained, it penetrates and modi- 
fies and perfects all of our exercise and makes 
all well-ordered activity beneficial. What- 
ever sport we take up becomes more than 
doubly helpful and delightful. The differ- 
ence between a game of tennis played by a 
young man whose motion is bad, — restricted, 


litlfitl|iii0 of tttsce 

disorderly and ineffectual, — and one played 
by a player whose motion is free and graceful 
and adequate, is immense, — the difference 
in enjoyment as well as in results and appear- 
ance. There is no need for any new form 
of exercise; we only need to apply better 
motion to the numberless forms already exist- 

But how, it may be asked, are we to secure 
the exercise best suited to each individual? 
Chiefly in two ways : by selecting exercise to 
serve the physical needs and defects of the 
student, so that it becomes a source of reme- 
dial development as well as a means of 
health; and by adapting that exercise to the 
student's own peculiar rhythm, either to cor- 
rect or to emphasize it so that it becomes a 
naturally educative process, refreshing the 
personality, as well as the physicality. The 
first precaution is practised generally enough, 
but the second is not even recognized as a 
necessity; and yet the one is as needful as 


sue jn sttin0 ot )9et0onalfts 

the other if physical education is to result 
in the production of individual happiness, 
power, and beauty. 

If physical training is to have any really 
educative value, if it is to be an integral part 
of a humane culture, it cannot rest satisfied 
with developing strength, endurance, and 
skill, delightful and goodly as these qualities 
are ; it must be civilizing in its tendency, and 
help to eliminate violent impulses, minimi- 
zing and obliterating all that is savage and 
ferocious in our animal nature, and retaining 
and developing all that is wholesome and 
needful. It must, in other words, cooperate 
with mental and moral training in the per- 
fecting of the human being, in imposing 
guidance, restraint, and fineness upon prim- 
itive impulse, in securing the freedom of 
spirit and the supremacy of reason. It must 
not hinder human evolution by keeping alive 
the more ruthless and blind animal propen- 
sities, it must rather aid human progress by 
educating instincts and directing them toward 


noble intelligent issues; it must help us to 
maintain strength, resourcefulness and cour- 
age, and to discard brutality, cruelty, and 

There is not the least doubt that physical 
education can render great help in doing this. 
In bodily training, as in all other realms of 
life, it is practice that forms habit, and habit 
that forms character. The calling of the fire- 
man or the coast-guard must educe and stim- 
ulate the humaner instincts, sympathy, gen- 
erosity, kindliness, unselfishness, tenderness; 
while it also requires no less courage and en- 
durance than the brutalizing art of war. As 
a vocation thus exerts so potent an influence 
in the formation of character, even so must 
bodily training exert a definite modifying 
guidance. Inborn pugnacity tends to make 
a man a fighter, and quite as surely does prac- 
tice in boxing develop pugnacity. 

Civilization does not consist of architecture 
and wealth, but of spirituality, temper, and at- 
titude of mind. Nevertheless we are civilized 


sue iUattfng of ipetsonaUts 

by circumstances, by the tasks which society 
imposes upon us, quite as much as by our own 
direct aspirations. We modify our actions 
at the bidding of impulse and intention; and 
our gestures, voices, and habits of motion are 
faithfully indicative of the personality be- 
neath; and no less certainly is our personal- 
ity modified and moulded in turn by the re- 
flex influence of its own acts and expressions, 
whether spontaneous or imitative. Imitation 
is one of Nature's rudimentary means of 
growth; but it needs superlative standards, 
and even then it cannot advantageously sup- 
plant individual effort. To make any act or 
gesture or mode of speech or motion habitual 
through deliberate repetition is to stimulate 
in the personality the appropriate moral qual- 
ity or emotion of which such act or gesture 
is the expression. The student of acting can- 
not practise the expressions of anger, despair, 
revenge, or love, without exciting those pas- 
sions in his own heart. So inseparably allied 


are spirit and sense, — so interdependent are 
their aims, their interests, and their spheres. 

In order that exercise may be most helpful 
and ensure the best results, it must be of a 
kind which can become instinctive and auto- 
matic. Otherwise it may necessitate a too 
constant strain on the attention and fail to 
produce that economy of motion which we 
recognize as grace, and which is always pres- 
ent when energy is allowed to play freely 
through its physical embodiment. Men and 
women are only ungraceful through some 
hindrance offered to this free play of energy, 
whether it be a physical impediment, a bad 
habit of motional procedure, the restraint of 
self-consciousness, or only the constrictions of 
modern dress. 

An animal may be ungraceful in our eyes, 
but it is rarely awkward or inept in its move- 
ments. Many of them seem to us monstrous 
and ungainly, but of such species we must 
remember that their world is so different 


sue illattfng of ipetsonalfts 

from ours, their requirements so alien, that 
our standards of grace and theirs can hardly 
be the same. Judged by the inflexible de- 
mands of its life and its surroundings, the mo- 
tion of any perfectly normal creature will be 
found to show the highest economy of effort. 
And this among mortals is the criterion of 
grace. Animal motion is good through being 
instinctive and free, and our own motion can 
only become graceful when those qualities 
are ensured for it. 

The body is constantly tending to adopt 
habits either good or bad in its motional life 
and to make them automatic; it knows and 
profits by the secret of routine; and by pref- 
erence it will adopt good habits rather than 
bad, — a saving rather than a wasteful ex- 
penditure of energy. We can have no natural 
preference for bad habits of motion, no real 
zest or enthusiasm in awkward actions, since 
these can never become deeply instinctive nor 
expressive, but must always be distasteful to 
our normal animal consciousness and our best 


taste. We must use our bodies as they prefer 
to be used, just as a good rider must make 
allowances for the preference of his horse, 
and ride him as he wishes to be ridden. 

The best exercises, therefore, are those 
which permit freest play to normal motion, 
freest expression to the physical character of 
the individual. And since the body cannot 
repeat with pleasure any motion which is un- 
suited to its own rhythmic preferences, but 
does repeat gladly any motion whose rhythm 
and form are adapted to its peculiarities, it 
follows that the most congenial exercises are 
those whose rhythms may be varied and 
adapted to meet individual need. 

For this reason the use of Indian clubs is 
one of the most beneficial and delightful 
gymnastics. They give the body something 
to do beyond the mere stretch of muscles ob- 
tained in calisthenic exercise without appara- 
tus. They lure us to exertion, like riding or 
swimming, without calling for a constant 
effort of volition. At the same time they 


sue iffll«ltfti0 of ^tvttonulits 

demand the least possible strain or attach- 
ment with a mechanical world. They havei 
the guise of a work, and yet they leave the 
body almost absolutely free in its motion. 
They afford it an opportunity for rhythmic 
action, and yet leave perfect liberty to mod- 
ify that rhythm at will. They are thus truly 
educational, inculcating the science of motion 
and developing the art of motion at the same 
time. Their persistent rhythms tend to do 
away with faulty idiosyncrasies of motion, 
and to replace a disorderly, spasmodic, cum- 
bersome, violent, or ineffectual habit of phys- 
ical action by one that is well-ordered, reg- 
ular, exact and capable. The practice of In- 
dian clubs introduces us to a world of rap- 
turous harmonies, where energy can find a 
pure enjoyment neither servile nor lawless. 
Indeed, by making us accustomed to a freer 
and at the same time a more regulated mo- 
tion, they give us a hint of the great truth that 
lawlessness is a hindrance and not a help to 
liberty. Their gentle discipline rescues us 



from any possible disorderliness of motion, 
and impresses us with the order and sym- 
metry of freedom. They approach more 
nearly the free art of dancing than other 
forms of exercise, and share its power of hyp- 
notizing the mind, fascinating the attention, 
and so allowing the dormant animal con- 
sciousness to emerge and grow. They teach 
the muscles to think for themselves and to act 
independently. They encourage good mo- 
tion, and by making it automatic, tend to 
make it instinctive for future use. Further 
than that, the natural freedom which they 
offer the body infects the spirit with gladness. 
Their rhythms, like the rhythms of the dance, 
awaken in the personality latent primordial 
joy by making activity expressive, and restore 
the soul to full possession and control of the 
body, so that it can find there again its lawful 
satisfactions, its sufficient avenues of expres- 
sion, its mobile salutary means of achieve- 
ment, its virile sustenance, its orderly reen- 
forcement, its happy existence. 


sue iRIsltfng ot ^etttotisUts 

The most graceful form of Indian club is 
of the long-handled English pattern, nine- 
teen inches in length, made of soft wood hol- 
lowed for the sake of lightness, and weighing 
not more than eight or ten ounces. This pat- 
tern of club will be found to give far more 
satisfactory results than the old-fashioned 
heavy type^ which weighed two or three 
pounds at least The heavy club compelled 
great exertion through certain parts of the 
swing, thus retarding the motion at points, 
while it hurried the motion at other points of 
the swing by the inertia of its weight. The 
lighter club, which is also better balanced, 
allows a more even and regular use of the 
muscles, a smoother and more graceful mo- 
tion, with an equal distribution of energy 
throughout the whole circle of the swing. It 
permits much wrist and finger work quite im- 
possible with the heavier club ; and this pos- 
sibility of extending exercise to the Very ends 
of the fingers is important in the development 
of 9 full unconscious rhythm in personal mo- 


tion. As a consequence of this better rhythm 
and more uniform exertion, the physical de- 
velopment produced by the lighter club is far 
more beautiful than that produced by the 
heavier instrument The one gives a well- 
rounded muscularity, at no point overexer- 
cised, and at no point neglected, while the 
other developed the exaggerated biceps and 
lumpy muscles of the circus gymnast of our 

In swinging clubs, the body must of course 
be held in proper poise with the weight on 
the balls of the feet and the chest held up as 
in elation. Every movement must originate 
in the breast and be transmitted not only to 
the tips of the fingers but as far as the eyes 
and tips of the toes; so that the whole phy- 
sique may participate in the rhythmic exhil- 
aration, and while the body may not actually 
rise from the ground at each swing, it may at 
least seem to be quickened by vibration and 
elasticity in its kinetic poise. To this end the 
body must never be tense, for in certain uses 


of the clubs^ as in the pendular swing, the arm 
learns to be as passive as a swinging rope, all 
the impulse being given by the chest and 
shoulder. In many movements the fingers, 
too, are as lax as may be, and retain their hold 
with the least possible attachment, so that the 
exercise may more nearly approach an abso- 
lutely " free gymnastic," — that is, a gym- 
nastic of the body without apparatus. This 
delicacy of poise and hold breeds grace of 
motion, without at all diminishing the devel- 
opment of strength. It adds skill and ecstasy 
to crude power. 

That Indian clubs may afford one of the 
most normalizing of exercises is unquestion- 
able. But it must be remembered that their 
normalizing value, their power to render per- 
sonal motion more graceful and proficient, 
and personality thereby more effectual, de- 
pends almost altogether on the way in which 
they are used. They may be used to increase 
muscular strength and manipulatory skill, 
and still fail to have any direct effect in nor- 


malizing personal habits of motion. In order 
that their best effects may be realized, — in 
order that they may make personal motion 
permanently better, and personality itself 
more sane and normal, — they must be prac- 
tised with an intelligent understanding of 
their advantages, a feeling for their rhythmic 
possibilities, which is the chief benefit they 
secure. Unless clubs are swung with as much 
happy zest and abandonment and apprecia- 
tion of their graceful harmonies as one would 
bring to the fine art of dancing, their utmost 
benefit will be lost. Without realizing this, 
we might practise them all our days and de- 
rive but little improvement in grace or bear- 
ing. But to feel the enchantment of their 
rhythms, the sorcery of their complex har- 
monious movements, as they wheel through 
space in their silent arabesques; to follow 
and obey their delicate law and yet modify 
their evolutions at pleasure; to produce new 
and almost infinite varieties of flying curves 
out of their few elementary figures, is to ex- 


sue iRI«ltfn0 of ^etttimslfts 

perience the veritable artistic rapture, and be 
carried out of oneself into the region of true 
creation where magic happens and beauty is 

Such exercise teaches the body the funda- 
mental laws of motion, the simple and pri- 
mary rules of grace^ and leads it by a wise 
education through subtle intricacies to a 
happy participation in the order and freedom 
of life. Club-swinging ought to form a part 
of all elementary education, since it induces 
a normal development, advantageous in itself 
and serviceable in any commonest kind of 
labour; while out of its physical harmonies 
the finest personality may spring. The edu- 
cation it provides, so basic and so requisite, 
tending to refine our physical nature, as 
music and mathematics do the mind, would 
help to make every workman an artist and 
every artist a master in his craft. Not only 
in an ideal republic, but in this practical 
world, the hod-carrier and the poet may bene- 


VifiVi^mu of etvutt 

fit alike by training in a field of motion where 
the rhythms of grace are supreme. 

A second form of exercise, which may well 
supplement the use of Indian clubs, is pro- 
vided by the medicine-ball. Here the ele- 
ment of art is lessened, since the movements 
are less conventional, and the rhythms less 
pronounced ; but there is a compensation for 
this loss in the added element of sport which 
is introduced through companionship in prac- 
tice, and by the increased capacity for the 
direct development of strength. The Indian 
clubs serve to invigorate and refresh the 
whole being, in the same way that a few min- 
utes of good breathing will do. The med- 
icine-ball does more than this; in ofifering 
scope for greater muscular effort, it makes an 
excellent step from the training in pure mo- 
tion of the Indian clubs to the applied exer- 
tions of heavy gymnastics, athletics or actual 
labour. It brings all the muscles into play 
equally and well, demanding variety of poise, 
and cultivating the beginning of judgment, 


Si^e iRlsltfti0 of ^et0oti«Ut9 

promptness, responsiveness, and skill. Like 
any other form of exercise, it should of course 
be practised with a constant heed to the qual- 
ity of its motions, the grace and orderliness of 
effort, as inculcated by the Indian clubs. 
Every catch and throw should embody a con- 
sciousness of rhythm and a pleasure in eco- 
nomic and thorough motion that would lend 
satisfaction and gladness to activity. 

These forms of exercise, if rightly pursued, 
will go f^r toward making good motion in- 
stinctive and habitual, so that all tasks may be 
undertaken and executed with an intelligent 
and automatic economy of force. If it be 
only scrubbing a floor or washing a window, 
the work will be the better done for any pre- 
vious training in orderly, regulated motion. 
To cultivate bodily perfection for no end but 
the perfection itself would be a vain and fool- 
ish pursuit. Unless our sports, our athletics, 
our whole physical education, are to have 
some application to real life, and serve to 
make it easier and happier, they must be sadly 


futile. But to be able to carry into daily la- 
bour and activity an actual pleasure in every 
motion, to feel a glad satisfaction in the exert- 
ing of physical energy, is substantial gain. 
Even the most uncongenial labour then loses 
half its drudgery, and may be turned, for all 
its disagreeableness, into positive and appre- 
ciable benefit. 

Not only does the habit of good motion, or 
grace, give us greater ease and efficiency for 
work; it helps us to extract a measure of 
needful recuperative exercise from all ab- 
sorbing daily tasks. The business man who 
has no time for other exercise than the walk 
of perhaps a couple of miles to and from his 
office may make that help to keep him in 
health, if he has learned to walk and breathe 
well. Even sitting at a desk all day may be 
made less exhausting and distressing if the 
worker shall have learned to hold his or her 
body well and to be careful to secure an abun- 
dance of fresh air all the time, and to breathe 
it properly. There is as much need for right 


sue iRlsltfti0 of ^nrsotisUts 

carriage in sitting as in standing; and if the 
body is kept under control through all the 
waking hours, — poised, alert, and vibrant, 
without overtension and with adequate breath- 
ing, — the quietest occupation may be made 
to furnish enough good exercise to preserve 
some measure of happy health. Nor will any 
toil, short of the impossible, seem too great, 
or leave the well-ordered being exhausted 
without recompense and chance of recupera- 
tion. Real joy in action is a magic lightener 
of Titanic and distasteful tasks. 

The housewife or shop-girl who has to be 
on her feet all day does not suffer so much 
from the excessive hours of work as from a 
lack of such physical training as would give 
her free animal intelligence in the use of her 
body. Every hour, hampered by artificial 
hindrances, is a drag and brings only weari- 
ness and discouragement, because every move- 
ment is wasteful and disorganizing, making 
gladness and economic efficiency of labour 
impossible. Just as it is not work but worry 


that wears out the mind and depresses the 
spirit, so it is not work but ineptitude that 
wears out the body and fatigues the willing 

Grace is not merely an adornment of life, 
but, like beauty, it is an inherent requisite, 
indicating perfection of motion, as beauty in- 
dicates perfection of form. Both are neces- 
sities of personality and revelations of power, 
not to be affected nor compelled, but to be 
cultivated lawfully and revered as puissant 
oracles of the divine. 


" Great toe, little toe, three toes between. 
All in a pointed shoe — 
Ne'er was so tiny a fo' castle seen. 
Nor so little room for the crew.'* 

So might an observer of the average 
pointed-toed shoes exclaim. 

It is strange that beautiful feet are almost 
nowhere to be seen nowadays except among 
babieSy Orientals and savages. That wonder- 
ful human member, so strong, so patient, so 
sensitive, so marvellously built and mathe- 
matically contrived with its arches and levers, 
so cunningly adapted to its ceaseless employ- 
ment, has undeservedly become a thing of 
shame to be covered and hidden from sight 


Yet what poetry and romance reside in the 
normal naked foot! The hand itself is not 
more beautiful nor more significant; though 
we sing the praises of the one, while the other 
we must never mention. Consider the service 
of the foot, bearing us hither and thither over 
the face of the lovely earth, up hill and down 
valley, by road and tangled meadow, through 
the open world, beneath the open sky, to many 
destinations, on errands of kindness or pleas- 
ure through all the bright business of life. 

Consider how life itself has risen, like an 
emanation from the fertile ground — first 
through trees and plants and particoloured 
flowers, which truly share the breath of ex- 
istence, yet must for ever remain patiently in 
one spot; next in the creeping and crawling 
forms which move ceaselessly over the green 
surface of the earth with such infinite slow- 
ness; and then finally in the creatures which 
run and walk as they will, almost as inde- 
pendent as the wandering clouds. They be- 
long to the race which has detached itself 


sue iRI«ltfti0 of J$ttttontAU9 

from the mighty parent, to wander between 
heaven and earth, abiding where it will, free 
with that power of moving on nimble feet, — 
a power, when you think of it, scarcely less 
extraordinary than that of certain flies to skate 
on the smooth surface of the stream. Think 
of the silent pad of the great cats as they move 
to the hunt, hardly turning a stone or snap- 
ping a twig. Think of the sure hoof of the 
mountain climbers, passing from ledge to 
ledge at dizzy altitudes in intrepid security, 
or of the cunning and exquisitely sensitive 
hoof of the deer, adapting itself to every step 
at such swift pace; feet for all surfaces, all 
countries, all necessities of weight and speed. 
Think of all these animal myriads as they 
come and go upon their business in the wild 
places of the world, and how their feet must 
always mark the measure of their strength. 

The only greater wanderer and joumeyer 
is man himself, the incorrigible nomad. Un- 
der tents or in palaces his abiding is hardly 


more stable than life itself, as it fleets from 
instant to instant. He goes forth in the morn- 
ing of time in bands, in hordes, in armies, 
hunting, conquering, settling; through dust, 
through snow, through swamp or forest; by 
trail and ford and red highway; and always 
his tireless feet must bear him forward to his 
goal. The anabasis of the Ten Thousand; 
the wandering of the Israelites in the wilder- 
ness; Napoleon's retreat from Moscow; Sher- 
man's march to the sea; all the countless ex- 
peditions of armed men forgotten long ago; 
all the daring adventures of hunters, lovers, 
explorers, seekers for gold, or mere restless 
waifs driven by their own fatuous whim; 
forced marches by night; leisurely rovings by 
day; — how all these wayfarings testify to die 
courageous, patient feet which went upon 
them, returning in triumph or coming back 
no morel 

You tfiink fondly of die beloved hands that 
served and tended and solaced you; think 


sue i^]iltfti0 of S^etttotislUs 

also of the willing feet that have done your 
pleasure, — run your errands, companioned 
you on many a delightful walk, and come to 
meet you on how many a glad return 1 How 
cherishable are the feet of the beloved, with 
all their rose-leaf delicacy of texture, their 
network of sensibility as responsive as the 
palm of the hand or even the life-breathing 
lips! In the beautiful deft sandalled feet of 
dancing-girls what enchantment lurks, what 
a sense of power to go and come at the sweet 
will of the spirit I They may gleam and tan- 
talize and allure and madden the infatuated 
beholder; yet in truth they are all the while 
expressive of capacities for patient docility 
and the sublime helpfulness of women. Over 
unnumbered leagues of travel in all times, 
under all weathers, through trackless jungles 
with death lurking in the shadows; across 
pathless wastes of snow with death stalking 
naked as the wind ; dirough all lands and sea- 
sons and circumstances, the untiring, indom- 
itable feet of man have gone, carrying him 


Sejittts of tfie iFoot 

to the door of his desire. Think of all this, 
and then declare whether the human foot is 
not wortfiy of honour. 

When we think of die foot as strong and 
capable and performing all its tasks so thor- 
oughly and well, we instinctively think of it 
as beautiful. The idea of beauty is funda- 
mentally an appreciation of absolute fitness. 
Those things come to seem beautiful to us 
which are exquisitely efficient, — which dis- 
charge their functions with fascinating expe- 
dition and economy. So that the moment we 
reflect on the wonderful adaptability and ef- 
fective power of the human foot^ our latent 
admiration is aroused at once^ our aesthetic 
enthusiasm is satisfied. Our popular notion 
of a pretty foot, on the other hand, does not 
call up a picture of the naked foot at all. It 
means something quite different, — simply a 
conventionalized form, a pretty shoe, a neatly 
made article of fine kid and soft patent 
leather, having a certain prettiness of its own 
in line and texture, but having little relation 


sue jgdltiMinfi of J$ttnonulits 

to the human foot eidier in shape or in serv- 
iceability. The modern shoe with its pointed 
toe and high heel may be interesting as a bric- 
a-brac, as all human fashions are interesting, 
however extreme or bizarre ; but its compara- 
tive uselessnesS) its lack of anything like per- 
fect fitness to meet die demands which will 
be put upon it^ make it essentially an inartis- 
tic invention. As long as it remains so arti- 
ficial in shape and so ill adapted to its re- 
quirementSy it can never be a really beautiful 
foot-covering. It is little less than an instru- 
ment of torture, and we wince at realizing it. 
Strange that we should condemn the foot- 
binding of die Chinese as cruelty, and will- 
ingly undergo discomforts almost as excruci- 
ating, and quite as illogical and disastrous, at 
die mere caprice of custom 1 

Without freedom of action diere can be 
no beauty in diese supple shapes of clay into 
which die breath of life has been blown. The 
average well-bred woman dare not show a 
bare foot, so cruelly is it blemished and mis- 


shapen by her ridiculous shoe. The story is 
told of a beautiful woman on die American 
stage, that she lost a suitor because he once 
chanced to see her uncovered foot. The 
man's sense of beauty was revolted at die sight 
of a foot, which should naturally have been 
beautiful, deformed and disfigured by per- 
verted and perverting shoes. The flaccid 
throat, die small, incompetent waist, die hob- 
bling walk and the crippled feet of fashion 
would be disgusting if they were not so piti- 
able and so usual. 

Whenever die foot is liberated from its 
fashionable bondage, it returns to the glad 
service for which it is formed; and all its 
added freedom and exercise bring back its lost 
suppleness, strength and grace. It grows sen- 
sitive and mobile and adequately serviceable 
again, and so again become interesting and 
beautiful with the beauty of life. A withered 
member, be it hand or foot, cannot be made 
lovely by being encased in expensive trap- 


Sfie gtnuUinu of HetttotislUs 

What is the naked human foot really like? 
In general outline^ the natural foot is three- 
sided. It approximately fills a triangle whose 
sides are formed by die inside straight line 
of the foot from toe to heel, die outside 
straight line of the foot and a straight line 
across die toes. The two long sides of the 
triangle mieet in an apex behind the heel. 
The point of die foot is the heel, not the toes. 
In the naked foot of a young child, still un- 
def ormed by shoes, in the feet of all good 
statues and paintings, and in the feet of all 
peoples who go barefoot, this shape appears. 
It is the normal form of the human foot, de- 
veloped by natural use, and giving adequate 
stability to the body; and only as our feet 
conform to this typical three-cornered shape 
can they make any just claim to beauty. Any 
divergence from this free-spreading, wide- 
toed form means inadequacy and weakness, 
and therefore unloveliness. 

Among the barefooted people of the West 
Indies and the Orient, you may see the human 


foot in its primitive strength and undistorted 
beauty. If you watch a young Negress going 
by with her burden on her head, the free 
stride of her naked feet, her soft step, her 
elastic, undulant body, you will have a new 
idea of physical loveliness. You may note 
how the foot spreads and springs with every 
step, bearing her forward in exquisite poise, 
with a grace and nobility of carriage quite im- 
possible to our women of modish gowns and 
shoes. She moves with the ease and latent 
power of some wild creature; and watching 
her, you grow aware how much charm lies in 
beauty of motion, in the mobility and action 
as well as in the statuesque perfection of the 
human body. I have to confess that my sense 
of what is beautiful and attractive in physical 
perfection has found more delight in the un- 
fettered swinging motion and free step of 
many a dark-skinned portress through the 
white streets of Nassau than it finds in the 
average " at home," where women mince 
helplessly and artificially across a room, or 


sue JtmuUinu of Hetttotuilfts 

wobble unstably from chair to chair. In the 
one case I see the alluring beauty of unspoiled 
nature, stirring me to enthusiasm without 
shame. In the odier I see die shameful and 
revolting perversion which foolish fashion 
has imposed upon women of my own race. 
I look upon die foot-bound Chinese woman 
with pity, but without contempt. The custom 
she obeys is a curious relic of tyranny survi- 
ving from a darker age of the world ; and the 
very antiquity and helplessness of her enthral- 
ment lend pathos to her sorry plight. But I 
cannot look at the silly shoe and ugly walk 
of the average American woman without a 
flush of indignation, diat a people which 
prides itself on its intelligence should will- 
ingly tolerate such crippled and ungraceful 

There is more in this matter of graceful 
motion than appears at first sight. Women 
wear their absurd shoes, no doubt, to make 
their feet look smaller, more dapper and, as 
they suppose, more attractive; and we all 


tolerate the custom. But we all overlook, I 
am sure, a very important factor in charm; 
we forget the fascinating sorcery which re- 
sides in graceful motion. Physical charm 
does not consist in perfection of colouring and 
form alone, but in perfection of motion as 
well. The gracious and irresistible allure- 
ment which a lovely woman exercises over the 
hearts of any company springs quite as much 
from her graceful mobility and nobleness of 
bearing as from any loveliness of face or fig- 
ure. Personal magnetism, that strange unac- 
countable influence which plays upon us so 
potently, yet ever eludes definition, is largely 
a matter of freedom of poise and harmony 
of movement — normal poise of the body, 
whether at rest or moving with all the won- 
derful flexions and tensions of which it is 
capable. An elusive, irresistible power, an 
air almost superhuman, seems to surround 
that person whose walk and bearing approach 
our instinctive standards of human motion at 
its best. So eagerly do we long for beauty, 


Sfie jgdluUinu of Hersotiftlfts 

for loveliness and power and ease and grace, 
so intuitively do we recognize them, that 
there is no saying what influence such deli- 
cacy of poise and refinement of motion may 
not wield. The woman who moves well may 
have the world at her feet; while her rival, 
of more beautiful lineaments but with an 
awkward carriage and ungainly motion, may 
retain her flawlessness, picturesque but unad- 
mired. There is more power in the tone of 
the voice than in the meaning of the word 
it utters. There is more force in a gesture the 
hand makes dian in die mould of the hand 

Now the basis of good carriage and good 
motion, or the basis of personal magnetism, 
is of course a strong, flexible, intelligent body 
at the command of a worthy personality. 
And die prime support or base of such a body 
must be a pair of strong, flexible, intelligent 
feet. Any foot which has strength, flexibility 
and muscular intelligence may not be the most 
beautiful foot in the world, but having these 


StfttitS of tfie iFoot 

qualities which go to make grace and effi- 
ciency, it will surely be more beautiful than 
one of more perfect mould in which those 
requisites are wanting. Beauty, it cannot be 
said too often, does not mean shape alone; 
it implies charm of effectiveness and adapta- 
bility as well. The idea of beauty includes 
the idea of perfect fitness, perfect economy of 
effort, perfect fulfilment of a function, per- 
fect attainment of an end or purpose, alwajrs 
with the least waste of energy. No foot — 
indeed, no part of the body — can be beauti- 
ful which is not capable of serving its natural 
purposes gracefully; and no member can 
gracefully serve its natural purposes or fulfil 
its proper ofSce to the body unless it is free. 

The hand or foot — or the whole body, for 
that matter — cannot be kept beautiful by dis- 
use. It was designed for use, for motion, not 
for immobility. It attained its present normal 
beauty, its present formation, through con- 
stant service and motion ; and only by being 
used freely and lovingly can its beauty be 


sue iStHtOtinfi of HetttonslUs 

preserved and perfected. Beauty is a result 
of continual gracefulness, an evidence of good 
habits of motion. And good motion, beauti- 
ful, strong, economical, intelligent, can spring 
only from a gracious spirit finding freedom 
of expression dirough an obedient, mobile 
body. Freedom, therefore, freedom for every 
part and member of the body, is a prime 
requisite of beauty. 

If we would have beautiful feet, we must 
take off our restricting, debilitating shoes. If 
we would have beautiful bodies, we must 
abandon our corsets and high collars, for be- 
fore we can have beauty, we must have grace ; 
before we can have grace, we must have com- 
plete freedom of motion. We must do away 
with all restrictions of foot and waist and 
throat before die natural symmetry of the body 
can be regained or preserved with all its de- 
lightful harmonies. We must leara to admire 
the body with all its natural spontaneous 
power and pliability, its capacity for action, 
its instinctive unhampered ease. We must 


learn to despise the pititful restrictions which 
we have allowed fashion to put upon us. We 
must permit ourselves, with no loss of spiri- 
tuality, to love physical beauty as the Greeks 
loved it, as artists and poets have always loved 
it, and to take a sane delight in the normal 
health and vigour and loveliness of the body. 
That delight, in turn, will enhance and nour- 
ish our spirituality; and he who takes care 
to have a clean, active, wholesome physique 
will be likely to have a clean, active, whole- 
some mind and soul as well. Our delight in 
physical beauty is a fine bloom of the spirit, 
just as physical beauty itself — loveliness of 
form and colour — is die fine bloom of bodily 
healdi. And beauty of form, let us remem- 
ber, can no more subsist without freedom of 
air and exercise than beauty of colour can; 
they both result from perfect healdi, and are 
marks of a fine normal exuberance of being. 
Hardly any decree of emancipation is more 
needed to-day than one for the liberating of 
the foot. We have dangerously enslaved our- 




Sfie jftluUlnti of Hersotiftltts 

selves with uncomfortable footgear, and until 
we discard its perverting shackles, we can 
never fully realize our inheritance of joyous- 
ness in possession of the earth. We must be 
able to stand firmly but unrigidly, as die trees 
stand in the wind, nobly upheld, yet sensibly 
swayed by the least motion of our surround- 
ing atmosphere, the least breath of inspira- 
tion, the least impulse of emotion. We must 
be able to move without thought or hin- 
drance, as the animals move, as primitive man 
could move. We must be content with noth- 
ing less than a perfect foot, such as the an- 
tique statues have to show, such as belongs to 
Eastern dancing-girls and the unshod dwell- 
ers in tropic lands. How incongruous Cleo- 
patra, or Ruth, or Helen of Troy, or the 
Queen of Sheba, would appear in modern 
shoes! And, more than that, their beauty 
would be actually impaired. All the mar- 
vellous grace, the simple strength, the fasci- 
nation or the dignity which they must have 
possessed, would be dissipated as diey tried 


Sejittts of t||t iFoot 

to move about in our uncomfortable modern 
dress. The glamour in which they hold our 
imagination even now would be lost. And it 
would be lost through bad motion, just as the 
fascination that an eagle's flight may exercise 
over us by its power and beauty would be lost 
if he should be suddenly crippled in a wing 
and come limping to earth. The spell of 
beautiful motion would be broken. He 
would seem no longer a wonderful creation, 
but merely a maimed and fluttering thing in 
the clutch of a sorry accident. We ourselves 
are in much die same case, when we maim 
at any point our natural freedom of body, our 
capacity for fine and beautiful activity. 

Our gain from a physical emancipation, 
such as the loosening of our dress would se- 
cure, would be beyond belief ; for we should 
gain not only in ph]rsical comfort, but in utter 
relief of spirit also; we should be able to 
inhale long drafts of happiness with every 
breath, taste the satisfaction of being normal, 
and feel the simple self-respect which comes 


SH^ ^aftftiff of ^ttuonuUts 

from living without affectation and in accord 
with the deep laws of our nature. It is not 
possible to be as serene and light-hearted, as 
the good God intended, while our bodies are 
fretted by ill-adapted clothing. No woman, 
I am sure, can be quite happy in the array 
which she is required to don for the social 
routine. To possess her soul with anything 
like equanimity, she must retire to dressing- 
gown and slippers, and if she be a bond-slave 
to fashion, she will suffer from nothing more 
completely than from her shoes. 

The ideal shoe is a barefoot shoe, following 
the model of the naked foot, and disregard- 
ing entirely the wholly artificial models of 
fashionable wear. It will be made to fit the 
foot and to interpose the very least resistance 
to all the duties which the foot has to per- 
form. It will be dedicated to service, not to 
affectation; and in that way it will attain a 
real artistic beauty such as can never invest 
the ludicrous patterns of footwear prescribed 
by unnatural fashion. It will meet the need 


Stunts of tl^t iFoot 

of the foot for protection and warmth, and 
yet allow as much ventilation as possible. 
Since it must adapt itself to work, it will have 
the utmost flexibility consistent with strength. 
It will differ from the ordinary shoe chiefly 
in three particulars: it will be heelless, it 
will be broad in the toe, and it will be low- 

If we take it for granted, as we surely may, 
that our walk becomes more graceful and easy 
and effectual the more nearly barefoot we can 
go, it follows that the ideal shoe will have the 
most pliable sole consistent with the protection 
required, and of an even thickness through- 
out. This matter of flexibility of the sole is 
of prime importance in securing and main- 
taining a good walk and carriage. Even the 
slight thickening of the sole to form " spring 
heels** interferes with good motion and 
should be avoided. The Indian moccasin is 
an ideal foot-covering in this respect; for 
although it is too soft and light to protect a 
sensitive foot against damp or rough travel, 


sue iRIaftftiff of ^ttU9nuUts 

it allows perfectly free play to that pliant roll 
of the foot always necessary to good walking. 
The entirely heelless shoe not only gives free- 
dom of motion ; it also compels the muscles 
of the toes and leg to keep the weight of the 
body poised over the balls of the feet, — the 
safest and sightliest balance either in walking 
or standing. It is a fundamental help to good 
motion and general poise, and it forces the 
finest development of leg muscles and en- 
hances healthful activity, which the average 
conventional shoe makes almost impracti- 

With a disuse of heels must come a broad- 
ening of the toe of the shoe, for the following 
reason : When high heels are worn, all flexi- 
bility in the use of the foot is lost. Instead 
of being a pliant springy support, as it is nat- 
urally, the foot in its artificial covering be- 
comes practically a single stump; and the 
most beautiful woman loses caste the moment 
she begins to walk, pegging along as if she 
were wooden from the knees down. As soon 


Stunts of tlie iFoot 

as heels are discarded, however, we must take 
care to return to a normal walk; and a nor- 
mal walk implies an increased use of the toes 
and the balls of the feet and a consequent 
strengthening of all the fore part of the foot, 
with a spreading and utilizing of the toes. 
So that a pointed-toe shoe, which may be 
bearable so long as the foot is used only as 
one might use a wooden foot well-jointed at 
the ankle, becomes intolerable as soon as we 
attempt to carry ourselves gracefully, bring- 
ing the balls of the feet and toes into proper 

In addition to being without heels and giv- 
ing complete freedom to the toes and balls 
of the feet, the ideal barefoot shoe will be 
low-cut. High laced or button shoes arc 
worn for two reasons, both of which are erro- 
neous. It is supposed that they give support 
to weak ankles and warmth to cold feet As 
a matter of fact, they only aggravate those 
discomforts. They make the foot colder by 
weakening the surface reaction and interfer- 


0tl^ ^aftftiff of ^ttttcnullts 

ing with the circulation, and they make die 
ankle weaker by hindering its exercise. Mus- 
cles are strengthened by use, not by support 
and disuse. The growing custom of keeping 
children in " spring-heel " shoes is excellent, 
so far as it goes; but they should always be 
low shoes with broad toes, and are better with 
no heels at all. It is the constricting repres- 
sion of high, tightly buttoned shoes that gives 
to so many children and young girls wooden 
ankles, calfless shanks, and a flat-footed walk, 
where we might rightfully expect shapeliness, 
elasticity and grace. Sandals, of course, are 
excellent for the perfect v entilation and free- 
dom they allow, though they may not always 
afford sufficient protection. 

The normal muscular use of the feet in 
proper shoes will prevent " flat-foot." That 
painful malady, contrary to popular super- 
stition, is invited rather than prevented by 
high heels and steel supports. The artificial 
prop and brace accustom the foot to depend 
upon their aid, and so gradually to lose rather 


than gain strength; they really only aggra« 
vate the trouble and one who resorts to their 
help is sure to go from bad to worse. The 
wonderful arch of the foot breaks down 
through being misused, not t hrough _being 
overused. To bind it and support it only 
interferes with its natural muscular play; so 
that it becomes weakened and atrophied 
through disuse, as any member would under 
similar conditions. Whereas if it be prop- 
erly used in an un restricting shoe, all neces- 
sary exercise will strengthen it. 

To change from high heels and arch-sup- 
porting shoes to free shoes, without transfer- 
ring the poise of the body from the heels and 
arch and stiffened knees to the balls of the 
feet and toes and deftly flexed knees, is to pre- 
cipitate "flat-foot" almost inevitably. And 
here lies the cause of discomfort and disaster 
arising from an unguarded change to gym- 
nasium shoes, ballet shoes, tennis shoes, and 
heelless slippers or house shoes. Such change 
must be made with careful readjustment of 


one's habits of motion in standing and walk- 
ing, and even then is not unlikely to be at- 
tended with discomfort at first, as different 
and comparatively unused sets of muscles are 
brought into play. Of course, after damage 
has been done, the case is complicated, and 
the sufferer may need a surgeon's care. 

The whole question of the beauty of the 
foot and the best use of the best shoes is insep- 
arably bound up with the question of good 
walking and good carriage of the body, and 
consequently also with questions of health, of 
efficiency, of happiness for ourselves and use- 
fulness to the world. It involves, too, the con- 
sideration of the subtle reflex influence of 
motion on the spirit and temper, on the tem- 
perament and mental attitude of the indi- 
vidual. A perfect foot is the beginning of 
beauty, as a fine cast of the head is its crown- 
ing attribute. Neither the vestal virgins nor 
the nautch-girls could ever have uplifted the 
spirit or charmed the senses, if their feet had 
been hampered and inadequate. Goddesses 



Vtuuts of tue iFoot 

would lose their majesty and angels their per- 
fection, if anything should mar the beauty of 
their feet. 

The tender curve and sensitive mobility of 
the sole of a beautiful foot is one of nature's 
subtlest beauties. A strong, soft, flexible 
rolling tread on the balls of the feet, letting 
them spread and contract freely with each 
step, keeping the heels almost wholly off the 
ground, and never allowing the weight of the 
body to fall back on the heels and spinal col- 
umn, is the natural process for developing 
fine, straight feet, a genuine instep and calf 
of the leg, a neat ankle, and curves of power 
and spirit not only through the foot but 
throughout the whole body. This was the 
breeding that made shapely feet and legs to 
match the loveliest bodies of bygone times 
and gave us our traditions of the well-bred 
foot. A spontaneous, easy elegance in the 
carriage of the head depends upon elegance 
in the development and use of the feet. The 
absence of many wrinkles, the unanxious ease 


0|l^ ^aftftiff of iprtttonalfts^ 

of the whole body, our perfection of physical 
and personal development, our utmost useful- 
ness and health, our entire symmetry and 
poise and vigour, depend largely upon our 
development and use of our feet. Nothing 
can exist or happen anywhere throughout the 
length and breadth of the body that is not in- 
fluenced by the condition and use of the foot 
The relation of the nervous system to the foot 
is often sorely realized. Few people have 
escaped experiencing the overwhelming de- 
moralization, mental and spiritual as well as 
physical, that results from a hurting foot. 

Speaking of Japanese workmen, Lafcadio 
Hearn says, " Nature has given him perfect 
feet that can spring him over fifty miles a 
day without pain ; a stomach whose chemistry 
can extract ample nourishment from food on 
which no European could live; and a con- 
stitution that scorns heat, cold, and damp 
alike, because still unimpaired by unhealthy 
clothing, by superfluous comforts, by the 
habit of seeking warmth from grates and 


Stunts of t||f iFoot 

stoves, and by the habit of wearing leather 

" It seems to me that the character of our 
footgear signifies more than is commonly sup- 
posed. The footgear represents in itself a 
check upon individual freedom. It signifies 
this even in costliness ; but in form it signifies 
infinitely more. It has distorted the Western 
foot out of the original shape, and rendered 
it incapable of the work for which it was 
evolved. The physical results are not limited 
to the foot. Whatever acts as a check, di- 
rectly or indirectly, upon the organs of loco- 
motion must extend its effects to the whole 
physical constitution. Does the evil stop even 
there? Perhaps we submit to conventions the 
most absurd of any existing in any civiliza- 
tion because we have too long submitted to 
the tyranny of shoemakers. There may be 
defects in our politics, in our social ethics, in 
our religious system, more or less related to 
the habit of wearing leather shoes. Submis- 
sion to the cramping of the body must cer- 


sue ^aftftiff of M^ttuonulits 

tainly aid in developing submission to die 
cramping of the mind." 

After experimenting with footwear for 
many years, experience leaves one eager to 
impart this grain of knowledge, — that no 
material comfort can equal the luxury of a 
well-fitting, broad-toed, flexible, heelless shoe. 
Of course, the secret is that a good barefoot 
shoe enables us to walk naturally and to find 
in simple natural exercises not only health, 
but sanity and happiness as well. If I were 
a fairy and asked to bestow one gift on the 
man and woman of the twentieth century, I 
would give them each a pair of model shoes. 


Z^ girt of Walkins 

The delightful art of walking, the happy 
vagabondage which Stevenson and Whitman 
praised so well, the most innocent of pastimes, 
the simplest of exercises, is in danger of fall- 
ing into disuse in our multiplicity of modem 
sports. Tennis, golf, bicycling, riding, yacht- 
ing, motoring, all call us in their different 
ways in the pursuit of diversion or health, 
until the love of the open foot-road is become 
almost old-fashioned. Yet there they lie, all 
the highways and paths and trails running 
out from before our very feet to ovcrlace the 
earth, to carry us whither we will, with all 
their old allurement of the golden age of gip- 
sydom before steam carriages were invented 


0||^ ^altftiff of ^ttuonvlits 

or electricity discovered; The art of walking 
may be temporarily outrivalled, but it cannot 
be lightly neglected, and the wise will always 
hold it in high esteem, — so primary a benefit 
is it, and so essential to all womanly elegance 
and manly dignity. 

An idea that shall help us to walk well 
is to think of the walk as a moderated run 
rather than to think of the run as a modifica- 
tion of the walk. Fancy the Flying Mercury 
changing feet, and you have an ideal run. 
Fancy that run slackened in speed, and you 
have a godlike walk. 

The run is, of course, the natural human 
gait whenever speed is required; and as the 
rate of speed is lowered, it passes by a gradual 
transition into the normal walk. The run is 
our legitimate highest form of locomotion, 
developed under the keen stress of the exi- 
gencies of life; and as such it represents our 
utmost efificiency of motion, and exhibits the 
most graceful economy of strength in action. 
As we watch it in children and in the games 


0||f 9(tt Of 08lalltfti0 

of our athletic youth^ the run lends a touch 
of glamour and additional charm to the 
beauty of the figure, altogether lacking in our 
starched and restricted demeanour; it carries 
us back to the days of freedom and sincerity. 
Our almost complete disuse of the run in civi- 
lization was inevitable, but none the less has 
surely been detrimental to the quality of our 
motion in general and to our walk in partic- 
ular. As the ease and security of life in- 
creased, we became a race of walkers; and 
now as the means of transit are multiplied, 
we walk less and less. As a consequence of 
this decreased necessity for muscular effort, 
we have lost much of the spring and endur- 
ance which belong to us by natural right. 
There is the greater need, therefore, that such 
walking as we do should be done thoroughly 
well, since grace and beauty are only the fine 
flowers of motion and strength. 

The mechanics of walking, like the science 
underlying any art, may not be as interesting 
as the art itself; yet it is none the less neces- 


0||f iRIaltfng of yetttonalttj^ 

sary, if we would practise the art correctly. 
The first requisite of good walking is a good 
poise. If the body is well poised at each point 
of its motion, the motion itself must be good. 
The process of walking, which has been de- 
scribed as a series of falls, is, to be somewhat 
more accurate, a series of falls and recover- 
ies, so insensibly merged that there is no say- 
ing where the fall ends and the recovery be- 
gins. In walking we are in a continuous 
state of changing equilibrium. We pass 
gradually from one position to another, yet 
should never be out of poise. We are play- 
ing with gravity. The instant we lose poise 
our step becomes a stumble, and we ourselves 
the sport of gravity, no longer its self-con- 
trolled masters. A good walker spins the 
earth deftly beneath his feet, as an acrobat 
in a circus spins a barrel or a painted ball. 

This simile suggests something of the light- 
ness and ecstasy to be acquired in walking, 
and gives us an imaginary guide for our mo- 
tion so far as the feet are concerned. For 


Stif Art of 8K«lltfii0 

our other requisite of good walking, a proper 
carriage of the chest, a suggestion may be 
gained by balancing a stout pole about eight 
or ten feet long vertically from the chest. Of 
course an imaginary pole will do quite as well 
as a real one, if not better, for it will not in- 
terfere at all with the carriage of the head. 
Between these two attempts — the endeavour 
to keep the chest well lifted and carried for- 
ward, and the endeavour to keep the earth 
as far below us as possible — lies the achieve- 
ment of good walking. Between these two 
diverse extremes we shall master that ease and 
strength of action which is so fascinating in 
all good motion, and attain a natural dignity 
of mien which no affectation can bestow. 

Instruction in the exact technique of walk- 
ing might be epitomized as follows : — From 
a normal standing position, with the greater 
part of the weight on one foot (the left, for 
example), slightly in advance of the right, 
lift the body gently on the balls of the feet 
and let it sway forward. As it sways out of 


Stif Jll«ltfii0 of M^tVMnulitp 

balance, the right leg will instinctively come 
forward to save it from falling. If this right 
leg be allowed to swing freely of its own 
weight, like a rope, sagging at the knee and 
slack at the ankle, and if at the same time the 
body be lifted high on the ball of the left foot, 
the right foot (the trailing end of the rope) 
will clear the ground as it swings past the 
left; and the first part of the foot to touch the 
ground in this first step will be, not the heel 
of the foot, but the ball, — the tip of the rope. 
The moment the ball of the right foot touches 
the ground, it resists, and receiving the weight 
of the body gently, with softly flexed knee, 
lowers it until the heel also touches the 
ground lightly, and the first step has been 

Meanwhile the forward impetus of the 
body has not been retarded, and the left leg 
is now swinging forward in its turn. The left 
foot must have room to swing clear of the 
ground ; and, to meet that necessity, the body, 
which has just been lowered by the strong 


Stif Att of 8Kalltfii0 

muscles of the right leg and foot, must imme- 
diately be lifted again by those same muscles. 
The left leg swings to the front; the chang- 
ing weight is again caught and lowered on the 
left foot ; the second step has been taken, and 
the walk is under way. 

If this rough analysis seems to overempha- 
size one or two crucial points in the walk, 
such as a greater use of the ankle joint and 
of the powerful lifting muscles of the calf 
of the leg and ball of the foot than we are 
accustomed to, it should be said that it is 
hardly possible to lay too much stress on the 
importance of these essentials. It is just in 
them that we generally fall short. To walk 
well, — indeed, to move well at all, — we 
need not only strength but strength well or- 
dered; and nowhere is our locomotion so 
faulty and inefficient as in our use of the leg, 
the ankle and the foot. 

Analysis makes clear the important part 
played by the strong, sensitive, flexible ball 
of the foot and toes, which spread and almost 


grasp the earth as they exercise their exqui- 
site control of balance and support, — a power 
which can nerer be exercised at all in narrow 
shoes. It also ensures the straight tread of 
the Indian ; since, when the foot is swung for- 
ward freely and loosely in the direction in 
which we are going, it falls naturally parallel 
to our line of progress. The turned-out toe 
is insisted upon by dancing masters rightly 
enough, in consideration of an audience in 
front, to whom profile contours arc more 
pleasing than straight lines, and because in 
dancing the body is constantly moving from 
side to side, and the leading foot should point 
in the direction in which the motion is to take 
place. The old military standing position, 
" heels together and toes out," which threw 
the weight upon the heels, was long permitted 
by instructors in gymnastics in class drill, for 
the purpose of facilitating diversity of exer- 
cise. In the normal walk, however, wherein 
we wish to go straight ahead, the turning out 
of the toes is an anomaly and should never be 


Stif Art of 8K«lltfii0 

taught It ought to be clearly understood 
and carefully borne in mind that the standing 
position of the dancing-school is to be used 
only when specifically required, and that 
when it becomes habitual it leads to bad gen- 
eral poise, an awkward walk, and injurious 
physical results. That a wrong method of 
standing should be inculcated in schools of 
physical culture, simply to facilitate certain 
drill exercises, is unwarrantable, inasmuch as 
the establishing of good habits of general mo- 
tion is more important than the artificial in- 
tricacies of any diverting or exhibitionary 
drill. If a drill necessitates bad poise at any 
time, then it is a bad drill and should be 

It will be noticed, also, that our descrip- 
tion of ideal walking does not fit the require- 
ments of the heel-and-toe walk as practised 
by athletes. That particular gait is an arti- 
ficial one, and has been adopted for a specific 
reason. The natural walk, as has been said, 
is only a modified run, and lapses into the 


Si^f Jttsltfni of J$tVMnulltp 

run so gradually that the exact point of dif- 
ference is not easily perceptible. The patent 
difference between a walk and a run is this, 
of course, that in the walk both feet are never 
off the ground at the same time. In order to 
render this difference perfectly plain and un- 
questionable in contests, athletes have re- 
quired the heel-and-toe step, wherein the heel 
strikes the ground first. With this gait it is 
almost impossible to get sufficient spring to 
lift both feet from the ground at the same 
time, and so the possibility of the walker 
breaking into a run is almost nil. The tax 
on him, however, is something terrific. He 
hunches along, thumping on his heels, and 
almost dislocating his entire anatomy at every 
step. The racking strain to the whole system 
from such an abnormal locomotion is an in- 
tolerable violence to nature. Nature fitted us 
to run when we are in a hurry; and to push 
the slower gait quite beyond the limits of its 
intended use is to sin against the laws of na- 
ture and common sense. Like any other vio- 


SUf 9iti of 8»«lltfii0 

lence, it can only be injurious and wasteful of 
energy; and being so harmful, it cannot but 
be ungraceful. Nothing is more ungainly 
and less pleasant to watch than a heel-and-toe 
contest. Yet this discordant method of walk- 
ing, only less furious in speed, is the one we 
use every day, almost without exception. It 
is a slovenly habit, only too readily acquired 
through muscular inefficiency, disordering 
footgear, or heedless imitation or laziness. 

Our fashions prescribe one ridiculous man- 
ner of walking and then another year after 
year, but almost no one thinks it worth while 
to learn to walk normally. There can be no 
uniform fashion of good walking. The nor- 
mal walk is not a matter of caprice, but of 
art; it lends itself to the infinite varieties of 
character, and becomes in each instance ex- 
pressive of the individual ; so that we recog- 
nize and even interpret a man by his gait as 
easily as by his voice. Both are unmistakably 
characteristic of him and could belong to no 
one else. A friend is known by his step be- 


fore he crosses the threshold. Words may be 
marshalled and pressed into the service of 
falsehood, and may deceive the unwary; but 
our tones and motions are more instinctive, 
less deliberate, and will betray us in spite of 
ourselves to any keen observer. No two 
voices are alike, nor any two walks, but every 
one in his own person — in bearing, demean- 
our, speech, gesture and motion — is the man- 
ifestation of a distinct personality and cannot 
be identical with another. To try to assume, 
therefore, any capricious mode of speech or 
any affected fashion of walking is fruitless; 
it is easier to change the part which destiny 
has set us to play than to conceal the individ- 
ual characteristics she has given us to play 

On the stage, along Fifth Avenue, in our 
drawing-rooms, at our summer resorts, what 
innumerable examples of ugly walking and 
ungainly carriage one sees I Women who 
flop, and wiggle, and hump, and mince, and 
lope, and stride, and hardly ever one who 


SUf SItt of 8»«lltfii0 

walks like an immortal human being I One 
sees well-bred girls stumping along a country 
road in thick-soled men's shoes, affecting a 
so-called manly stride, because they fancy it 
seems athletic, and because it is considered 
"smart" to be mannish. Even so, they arc 
far from manliness; they imitate the gross, 
uncultivated motion which bespeaks a low 
type of physicality characteristic of the pugi- 
list and the roustabout; and of course they 
only succeed in looking ridiculous. Though 
they may be pretty girls, their affectation of 
a manner and motion not native in them — 
not characteristic and unconscious and ex- 
pressive of themselves — makes them ludi- 
crous. It is not necessary to be a man in order 
to be strong and healthy; and it is impossible 
to be graceful and affected at the same time. 

In justice, it ought to be added that many 
men make the same mistake of affecting a 
walk that does not belong to them. It is, per- 
haps, one of the lesser follies of an imitative 
youth, when we long to play a part in the 


Ci^f jnsltfiiii of |9et0oii«ltt9 

world, and must ape this or that ideal of our 
busy imagination. But, as Browning says, — 

*< Best be yourself, imperiil, plain and true." 

And no walk can be normal or beautiful 
which does not belong distinctively to its user, 
which is not just as inseparably his own or her 
own as the expression of the eyes. The in- 
finite and distinguishing varieties of walk de- 
pend on the infinitely varied proportions of 
length of limb and strength of muscle and 
quality of energy in different persons. 

Many a capable actor fails of his effect by 
not knowing the inalienable meaning of mo- 
tion and the significance of a walk. Wishing 
to impress us with a sense of dignity, he often 
comes strutting and stamping on high heels, 
quite forgetting that true dignity is easy, re- 
poseful, assured, and elastic, not assertive nor 
unyielding; and that the jarring thump of 
his heej-hitting tread is enough to shatter any 
possible illusion of majesty or elegance. Real 
majesty of bearing is not to be assumed easily. 


SUf Att of mulklna 

It appears only as the cloak and habit of true 
majesty of character, — thorough worth and 
nobility of heart 

A distinguished American critic, who wit- 
nessed the coronation ceremony at Westmin- 
ster, has declared that Queen Alexandra in 
that assemblage of younger and more daz- 
zling beauties, held an unquestionable su- 
premacy of royal elegance and grandeur by 
her every movement of unassuming, unaf- 
fected dignity. It was said of Adelaide Neil- 
son that to see her walk was like listening to 
exquisite music, so well rhythmed and elo- 
quent was her motion. Madame Duse's great- 
est preeminence as an artist is her genius of 
mobility, her wonderful capacity for expres- 
sion through motion and pose. Majestic mo- 
tion was never more wonderfully exemplified 
than in Salvini's walk in the character of 
Othello. Though he played the part in bare 
feet, his tread was impressive with a dignity 
that no high-heeled boot would permit. It 
was simply an untrammelled expression or 


SUf Jttsltfiiji of |9^t»oti«ltt9 

revelation of the dignity of character of 
which the man himself was capable; and 
that capacity, that quality of innate dignity, 
required only natural transmission, transla- 
tion from feeling into motion, to give it as- 
tounding power. The great actor must be 
equally a master of good motion and of 
speech, since motion is quite as important a 
medium of expression as voice. 

To ensure good normal walking the free- 
dom of the foot is the first essential, but no 
less essential is the freedom of the entire 
body; for walking brings every muscle into 
play, and the whole torso and head have to 
be controlled and mobilized every moment 
through the strong muscles of the neck and 
trunk. This needs freedom of the waist and 
throat, as well as of the foot and ankle ; and 
when we realize the values of breathing and 
the increased use of the lungs and diaphragm 
necessitated by walking, the need for this free- 
dom becomes imperative. The spread of cul- 
tivated taste in matters of art has shown us 


Stif Art ot SKslltftiji 

how unbeautiful the deformed waist and 
pointed foot really are, in themselves and in 
their effects upon poise and personal expres- 
sion, — how pitiably deficient compared with 
the superb strength of the Winged Victory 
or the ideal sufficiency of the Venus of Melos. 
How magnificent the Victory is in her loose- 
girdled bearing, seeming almost to tread on 
air, — the very embodiment of the soul of 
walking arrested for an age-long instant in 

How shall we regain such power and per- 
fection of grace and beauty? How attain 
that fine-poised loveliness of body which the 
old Greeks left recorded for us in their 
sculpture as standard of physical excellence? 
Surely not by the use of corsets and cosmetics, 
but perhaps by cultivating as they did all the 
bodily faculties in a life including free mus- 
cular activity and physical art. The Greeks 
were the finest exponents of physical culture, 
because they saw its fundamental relation to 
total culture, and held it in the honour which 


SUf instills of ^tvuonulltp 

is its due. They respected physical beauty 
just as instinctively as all natural men and 
women respect it. They had not been inocu- 
lated with that false and shameful asceticism 
which sprang up in the Dark Ages and cast 
its blight over the sacred natural joy of life. 
They knew well the inherent dependence of 
beauty of form upon loveliness of spirit, and 
cultivated each with assiduous care. Their 
love of beauty was only another phase of their 
eager and undarkened love of truth. Their 
devotion to athletics sprang consistently from 
their feeling for art, and their eminence in 
art in turn was fostered and enriched by that 
very untrammelled devotion. 

It will be so in our own case. We shall 
grow gradually nearer perfection of physical 
strength and beauty, as we live more and more 
nearly in accordance with our best instincts, 
putting away shams, discarding prejudices, 
and throwing off the tyranny of whatever im- 
positions are too rigid and hampering for 'fine 
personal development. No small part of this 


Stif Art of SKslltfiiji 

just, profitable and very becoming liberation 
of the spirit, this delightful enhancement of 
personality, will come to us through securing 
the utmost perfection and service of the sim- 
ple and practicable art of good walking. 




When David danced before the Lord he 
was making use of one of the most primitive 
methods for giving vent to the joyous energy 
that was in him. That natural expression of 
vigorous gladness was so common that it 
could not but find a place in all early cere- 
monials and religious rites. When Salome 
danced before Herod at his birthday feast, 
her triumph was tribute to the facile power 
of her art. 

Though we have abandoned the use of 
dancing in our sober, more intellectual relig- 
ion, the tendency to express heights of feeling 
in rhythmic motion shows itself in almost any 
perfervid religious revival among simple and 


Sanrfng as a iFfne Art 

unrestrained people. And a resort to patting 
and drums, to kneeling and bowing and sing- 
ing as a means of freeing the spirit and an 
elevation toward holiness, is by no means ex- 
tinct. We still make use of rhythm for the" 
inducement of mood, though we fail to give 
it scientific recognition or to regulate it as a 
legitimate aid. 

That an art so potent and subtle as dancing 
should often have been turned to ill account 
was to have been expected, yet that was hardly 
a sufficient reason for condemning it without 
reserve and banishing it to the limbo of the 
forbidden. So strong and delicate an instru- 
ment for influencing personality and^arousing 
emotion ought rather to be treated with tena- 
cious respect and made the object of a wise 
and fostering care. We do not ban electricity 
because it is dangerous, nor shun the service 
of fire because it is terrible and destructive 
when unmastered. So with the arts; those 
great and primordial manifestations of psy- 
chic energy are to be guarded, indeed, with 


S!ie malcfng of ^tvuonulits 

every wise precaution, but they are none the 
less to be used most gratefully for forwarding 
and facilitating the purposes of human life 
in its struggle toward happiness and wisdom. 
Like the elements of outward nature, they are 
the Titanic ministers of man, rendering in- 
calculable aid when properly employed, and 
equally incalculable harm when left to op- 
erate in a wayward and unregulated manner. 
To make them outcasts from our world of 
activity is mere childish petulance; to the 
mature and sane mind they must always seem 
worthy not only of use but of study and hon- 
our. While ever alive to their baleful possi- 
bilities, we should still rejoice without stint 
in the exercise of their legitimate powers, and 
cherish them with loving reverence. To do 
this is only to make the most of our native 
endowments, — the resources of the great un- 
known universe of being from which we are 
sprung. To neglect it is surely to be foolish 
and cowardly and inept in dealing with the 
vital forces of creation which have been given 


Bancfng as a iFfne Art 

into our hands. The artist in life need feel 
no panic in the presence of the gods; for 
though it becomes him to go modestly and 
without presumption, he is after all in the 
house of his kindred, and while the lords of 
being have little liking for undue assurance, 
they have less for cringing timidity. 

The reinstating of dancing in its rightful 
place among the liberal and humanizing arts 
is greatly to be desired, and any tendency in 
that direction is most welcome. The prac- 
tice of the art as developed in the modern bal- 
let is admirable so far as it goes ; its semi-pop- 
ularity proves how universal and ineradicable 
our love of expressive motion is, how eagerly 
we respond to its appeal, and how gladly we 
encourage it to beautiful achievement, even 
when it dwindles to bleak artificiality and 
conventionalization. But the modem ballet 
is only a stiflFened relic of the art of dancing 
compared to what may be accomplished in 
reviving it as a popular amusement and re- 
storing it to its lawful position of honour and 


Stie matting of J^etsonalfts 

enthusiastic pride in people's hearts as one 
of their loveliest and most salutary pleas- 

Motion as an art includes the walk, but it 
only reaches its highest achievement in dan- 
cing. Walking is primarily a utilitarian pro- 
cedure, with other aims and purposes beside 
personal expression; its expressive intent is 
secondary. Dancing, on the contrary, is 
quite superfluous from the utilitarian point of 
view; it has no practical service in view; its 
sole purpose is the expression of feeling. In 
the first instance, it is the mere physical in- 
stinctive manifestation of pleasure, a mute 
but unmistakable indication of the gladness 
of life, i Later, it becomes more complex, co- 
herent, articulate and intelligible; it serves 
not only as a vent for an impulsive ebullition 
of animal spirits, but as an avenue for the 
definite expression of varied emotions, — it 
serves as a means to convey their infection and 
fascination to others; and it takes its appro- 
priate place among the fine arts as one of the 


Bancfng as a iFfne Art 

most charming and winsome dialects in the 
language of ecstasy. 

The artistic dancer uses bodily motion as a 
poet uses words, as a musician uses tones, as a 
painter uses colours, — as an appeal not so 
much to our reason as to our sense and spirit, 
— as a means of enlivening and gladdening 
our nature, making us more sensitive to 
beauty, more spontaneous in glad emotion, 
more sane and balanced in general well-be- 
ing. This service of harmonizing us with 
ourselves, freeing us from irritation and fa- 
tigue and discordant vexation, is what art 
always does for us, and what dancing does 
most wholesomely when properly cultivated. 
As it shares with the other arts the right to be 
called liberal and fine, it deserves an equally 
important place in our education, our social 
life, our serious regard. 

That dancing is the legitimate sister of 
Music and Poetry is indisputable. Her birth- 
right is not less authentic than theirs, nor her 
origin less divine, while the realm of her in- 


Stie matting of ^ttuonulits 

heritance lies more within the enjoyment of 
alL If not the wisest of the immortal nine, 
she is the gayest, most human, debonair, and 
alluring. To the sorceries of her rhythmic 
motion, to the silent but inescapable witch- 
eries of her melting curves, to the languid or 
impassioned glamour that she weaves, every 
son of man is responsive. ^^^ ^Inr^ thart^ 
with her twin-born Music the power to 
charm the wildest heart, and foster even in 
the rudest mind some elements of civility. 
Poetry may enlarge our horizon, making us 
serene and wise; architecture may remind us 
of the spacious nobility and order of the uni- 
verse; painting and sculpture may help us 
to a more vivid delight in the colour and 
form and loveliness of the world; and acting 
may stir our sympathy with its mimic follies 
and woes; but dancing is preeminently the 
preceptress of unmitigated joy. She is the 
epitome of happy moments, embodying the 
innocent abandon of our unrestrained rap- 
ture. The hours sacred to her are those 


Batufng as a iFfne Art 

which are free from care. It is to her that wc 
instinctively turn when the soul leaps for 
gladness. It is she who teaches us that perfect 
fusion of sense and spirit, without which no 
art is possible and no life is fortunate. She 
personifies that creative rapture which was in 
the beginning, when the morning stars sang 
together and all the sons of God shouted for 

Terpsichore is not only the Muse of dan- 
cing, but the goddess of all motion. She pre- 
sides over dancing mote and whirling leaf, as 
well as over the jig and the minuet. The 
wheeling hawk hanging on balanced wings 
above some dark ravine, the fleet innumerable 
droves of the sea that glimmer and dart 
through their dusky silent firmament, the 
clever tumblers in the circus, the happy chil- 
dren in the street keeping time to the hurdy- 
gurdy, the flying thistle seed, the drifting 
snow, the sand that travels in the tide, and the 
recurring planets in their vast career, — all 
are biddable devotees of her cult, paying 


Stie malcfng of J^nrsonnuts 

obedience to her mighty law, whose first ob* 
ligation is poise, whose final realization is 
freedom. For poise is ever the first step 
toward perfection, as significant beauty is the 
last. To follow her com mandments^ keeping 
proper time, proper force and form, in every 
motion we create, is to bring ourselves, body 
and spirit and understanding, hourly into 
happier accord with the orderly rhythms of 
infinitude. By so doing we lose timidity and 
strangeness and distrust of ourselves; we 
learn number, proportion, accuracy, skill; 
and we become assured, gracious, composed 
and glad. For art not only holds the keys 
to the realm of beauty, but to the realms of 
knowledge and benevolence as well. This 
is the truth which every artist divines, and 
which all must one day come to perceive. 

We have lost much of our respect for the 
pure fine art of dancing, because we have al- 
lowed it to become debased and corrupted. 
When the Puritan put the blight of his anath- 
ema upon it, he worked an almost irrevocable 


Banting as a iFfne 1Bltt 

injury. That was one of the enormities with 
which his soured righteousness afflicted the 
earth, one of the ill effects of his narrow big- 
otry which we are left to undo. Dancing 
might be put out of countenance for a time, 
but no fanaticism could irrevocably over- 
throw a genuine deep and beneficent human 
activity. For dancing is more than a custom ; 
it is not confined to any race or civilization; 
it is native to man ; it answers a primary need 
in his being, — an ineradicable necessity for 
self-expression; and like all the arts it has 
an unquestionable, almost mysterious, power 
to influence his life. It must, therefore, take 
its lawful position again and be honoured as 
it was in other times, when it had its due place 
in sacred ceremonial as well as in daily life. 
Not that we need revive the dance as a relig- 
ious rite, but we must recognize, just as the 
ancients did, just as the savages still do, the 
religious element inherent in motion, and its 
great power in the spiritual realm. Having, 
as it surely has, so potential an influence for 


good or ill| surely we are bound to cultivate, 
liberate, refine and ennoble it, in order that 
we may generally practise it, and may be cul- 
tivated, liberated, refined and ennobled by it 
in turn. The wise and loving practice of an 
art is the making of the artist. 

As dancing comes to be revived among us, 
restored to its lawful standing, it must resume 
its place in our regard as one of the most de- 
lightful of pastimes and beneficial of recrea- 
tions. It is peculiarly fitted to become a dis- 
tinctive national amusement with Americans; 
its grace and spirit and gaiety should supply 
a most becoming exercise for our buoyant and 
volatile exuberance. We might have dancing 
clubs, just as we now have tennis clubs. It 
might become as great a distinction to excel 
as a dancer as it is now to excel in golf or 

Dancing as an exercise is more desirable 
than most sports, for the simple reason that 
it is an art as well as an exercise, and the prac- 
tice of it cannot but be more helpful and sat- 


Bancfng as a iFfne Art 

isfying than the pursuit of sports which are 
more wholly physical in their requirements. 
Most of our sports and playgrounds demand 
accuracy, skill, bodily vigour, and even such 
temperamental characteristics as patience and 
good nature ; they cannot, however, afford an 
outlet and avenue of expression for the higher 
personality, nor a means for its cultivation, 
such as the arts always supply. Athletics 
generally leave one side of our nature, the 
spiritual or emotional side, entirely- unexer- 
cised. That is why our young college giants 
are often so persistently mere huge and grace- 
less barbarians. They have given themselves 
with commendable diligence to the cultivation 
of thews and brawn, daring and endurance, 
and after all they are only fit for the arena; 
they have none of that grace and nobility of 
person which were so prized by the Greeks, 
— none of that imposing beauty which mo- 
tion, when infused with the aspirations of the 
spirit, can do so much to develop, and which 
uninspired motion can so easily destroy. 


Stie matting of ^tvuonulits 

It seems a pity that so beautiful an art, so 
delightful an amusement, should be relegated 
to formal dress occasions and not enjoyed 
much more frequently on the spur of any 
happy moment. A moderate amount of good 
dancing would be enough to keep women in 
health, to say nothing of its value for mental 
stimulation and balance. And there can be 
no more ideal and practically salutary exer- 
cise and recreation for children and adults 
than barefoot dancing, practised in unre- 
stricting cleanly clothing, and with only the 
simplest sandal protection for the otherwise 
bare feet, — a pastime in which no pointed 
shoe, no hampering garment, increases the 
difficulty of delightful achievement, nor de- 
tracts from its benefit. Such dancing gives 
bodily and emotional freedom and nervous 
relief as well as stimulus to expression within 
the limits of orderly beauty ; it helps to legit- 
imate and happy expenditure of restless ac- 
tivity; it leads to lines of pleasurable benefit 
energies which might otherwise be either un- 


9ancfn0 as a iFfne Art 

reasonably repressed or vented in uncouth 
violence and discordant noise. 

We are all of us very much in the same 
boat, and often are not much wiser than chil- 
dren, nor much more capable of helping our- 
selves. We think the heavens are unkind, the 
tangle of life impossible, and ourselves in 
some dire extremity of woe or complication, 
when in reality all we need is a touch of in- 
spiring, harmonizing, and genuinely recuper- 
ative exercise. The elation to be gained from 
freeing our manacled bodies and refreshing 
them with some beautiful and happy motion 
is almost unbelievable. 

A few years ago in New York a number of 
women gave a Greek dance as a studio 
performance for the entertainment of their 
friends. In the freedom of the classical cos- 
tume, the sandalled foot and loosely robed 
figure, they found unexpected opportunity for 
natural and expressive motion. Their under- 
taking became a delight they had never 
dreamed of, revealing to them the ecstasy of 


Stie |lla!tfn0 of J^^sonaUts 

free and spontaneous mobility which belongs 
to all natural things, and which man alone 
has seen fit to deform and cripple and de- 
fraud. Their pleasure was something more 
than the simple physical exhilaration of exer- 
cise; they were touched with the divine fire 
of inspiration, the primal creative impulse 
which all artists know. This was their mem- 
orable return for a few hours given to the 
glad art of dancing. 

More recently Miss Duncan and Miss St. 
Denis have demonstrated the imperishable 
interest we all must have in dancing as a fine 
art. Their practical success in barefoot dan- 
cing should be a substantial encouragement 
to the culture and pursuit of the art for its 
own valuable sake. Their performances were 
open to criticism naturally, but the spirit of 
their undertaking cannot be too much praised. 
Miss St. Denis has still a good deal to leara 
about the meanings of motions and the ma- 
king of magic, but it must be remembered in 
her favour that there is almost no one from 


whom she could learn these secrets. Her 
dancing lacks sorcery and charm as yet, power 
to fascinate as well as to astonish ; she has the 
cleverness which arouses interest and makes 
one admire^ but not the touch of rapture 
which would carry one away, as all competent 
art should. She has, in other words, an ex- 
cellent technique, a plastic mobility, but no 
passion and no adequate mastery of the ex- 
pressional values of various motions. So that 
while her dancing may dazzle by its bril- 
liance, it cannot enthrall. Nevertheless her 
intelligent and unaided endeavour in an al- 
most deserted field of art was most admirable 
and worthy of all its success. 

For several years Wellesley College has 
been giving a pictorial dance at each Com- 
mencement. In these interpretive dances, 
which are held out-of-doors in the beautiful 
grounds of the college, the parts are all taken 
by the students; and, while not a recognized 
part of the academic procedure, it might well 
become as settled a custom as the yearly Se- 


STfie jnsltftig of ipetsoiislUs 

nior Dramatics among the students of Smith. 
Such extra-academic performances, which af- 
ford means of actual training in the arts, are 
likely to be of far more value to the student 
than a great deal of her theoretic knowledge 
acquired in "Arts Courses," which are not 
courses in art at all. 

Dancing in its finest development, with all 
its scope, bewitchment, power, and satisfac- 
tions, has nearly become one of the lost arts; 
but instances of a reviving interest in it here 
and there point to a hopeful future when one 
of the most lovely of the arts shall come to its 
own again, bringing back solace and gaiety 
and innocent ardour to an overmentalized 



®i)e Musk of fiU 

A BRILLIANT woman once said to mc, " Life 
without abandon, to me is a dance without 
music." And I knew instantly what she 
meant, with that delight one always feels in 
the perception of a fresh statement of truth. 

It was a poet's phrase, and as all good poe- 
try will, it illumined the mind at once with a 
radiant conviction, and left itself in the mem- 
ory as a perpetual word of wisdom. Every 
day everywhere I am constantly having it 
borne in upon me how true the saying is ; and 
as I hear of incidents in the lives of my 
friends, or of their friends, and as I watch the 
expression of men and women going by me 
in the street or gathered in public places, 


sue Jll«ltfii0 of l&tvuonulits 

light-hearted with elation or depressed with 
complaining, I find myself repeating, not 
without something of the resigned detachment 
of the philosopher, " Life without abandon 
is a dance without music.'' 

But what do we mean by abandon? I mean 
a free and unrestrained yielding of oneself, 
at any given moment, to the best promptings 
of the instinct, the reason, and the spirit, — 
a happy and ready accepting of the best dic- 
tates of conscience, the delicate monitions of 
kindliness and taste. We commonly speak of 
an abandoned person, in the evil sense of the 
word, as one wholly given over to the control 
of the baser passions, — one in whom the 
malign forces which dwell in humanity have 
gained another of their sorry victories. And 
just as such a one goes down-hill with ever- 
increasing speed, unchecked by fear or hesi- 
tation or scruple, so one who consciously 
yields with a happy abandon to the beneficent 
and goodly powers at work in human per- 


Sfie jnitisfc of &f(e 

sonalities may mount to heights of developed 
manhood or womanhood by a sheer momen- 
tum of reasonable joy. It is not the part of 
abandon to falter or shuffle or count the cost^ 
nor to be laggard in well-doing nor lukewarm 
in appreciation. To be potent in abandon and 
to cultivate it is to be instant in action, gen- 
erous in deed, confident of resource, and pos- 
sessed by an invincible faith in the ultimate 
triumph of all that is just, beautiful, and 
kindly in life. 

One who lives with abandon lives with no- 
bility, sincerity, and freedom. The deep 
wells of life are inexhaustible, and those who 
draw from their sweet waters most lavishly 
are most sure of being sustained and re- 
freshed. It is only the timorous and mean 
and calculating who ever imagine those 
magic springs can run dry, or fancy there are 
narrow limits to human possibilities. When 
the dandelions fail to reappear with the 
spring-time, when the fogs cease to blow over 


sue ^sltftig of ^^ensotinlttfi 

the face of the sea, the sources of mortal 
knowledge and aspiration may also cease and 
fail, but not till then. 

It is so easy to distinguish where music has 
gone out of a life, and where it still lingers 
with its enrapturing possession of the person- 
ality! Here go by, the dejected mien, the 
dispirited walk, the drooping shoulders and 
slovenly gait, the eyes bent upon the ground, 
the head bowed in hopelessness; these are 
they who for one cause or another have lost 
the first fine abandon which is the natural 
heritage of every mortal born into a beautiful 
world; they have ceased to make magic 
music in their personalities; and while they 
still go through the motions of living, they 
are scarcely more than automata moving to a 
joyless mechanical rhythm, creatures of rou- 
tine, puppets dancing without a tune. Pity 
them, for they are the unfortunates of the 
great army of triumphant humanity, — not 
only the deserters and stragglers from the 
ranks, but the weak, the ignorant, the ill-ad- 


vised, the wayward, who have somehow 
strayed beyond the sound of the fifes and 
drums and go plodding on out of step and 
forlorn, perhaps wilfully searching for free- 
dom, perhaps only vainly looking for rest, 
and never guessing that all their wayfaring 
must be bound in misery unless they can re- 
cover the strain of that high inspiriting music 
they have lost, and which somewhere far in 
the van is still calling them to enthusiastic 
allegiance, still marking an irresistible beat 
for their steps to follow. 

If there are many in whom the music of 
life is hushed or jangled, there are more in 
whom it is resonant and alluring still. For 
among the multitude of the silenced tuneless 
personalities, pace for pace with the discord- 
ant and disheartened, moves the splendid 
company of confident men and spirited 
women, those who walk with springing step 
and uplifted chest, with dancing eyes and 
traces of rapture in their bearing. They may 
not always be radiant with rejoicing, they 


Sfie jfiMklni of |pet0oti«lttfi 

may even be sorely touched by natural sor- 
row, but in any case they carry themselves 
with a freedom and intensity, with an alert- 
ness and vibrancy, that bespeak the undefeated 
soul and the mind still free from the blight 
of dissonance and disillusion. One sees at a 
glance that they have not surrendered to mis- 
fortune, nor been tainted by any inward cor- 
ruption of fear or despair or ruthless cruelty. 
If black pessimism has ever whispered in 
their ears, it has not been able to mark them 
for its own. For them the bands are still 
playing enlivening airs, as the human pag- 
eant files along in its tatterdemalion cele- 
bration of living. Whether they be going 
a/oot or on horseback, in velvet or in rags, 
seems to matter but lightly to them. The one 
great fact is that they are filled with the music 
of life. Never having allowed themselves to 
become unstrung, their resonant personalities 
are still played upon in the rapturous har- 
monies of beneficent, joyous being. 
Music of life is everywhere, and those who 

Sfie jnitisfc of ntu 

have apprehended its presence in themselves 
and in others are in possession of an inval- 
uable knowledge. It must always seem to 
them of the first importance to maintain their 
power of abandon, of rapture, of resonance, 
at all hazards, let their actual fortune be what 
it may. They will make any sacrifice, forego 
any material advantage, disrupt any bondage, 
to save their natural responsiveness, — their 
zest, their vibrancy, their faculty of individ- 
ually reechoing to the concord of existence. 
To be out of tune with themselves and inca- 
pable of sharing in the mighty music of hu- 
man life, whether that music be glad or sad, 
sorry or triumphant, must appear to them as 
the greatest of human misfortunes, for they 
will truly apprehend such injury and deteri- 
oration as a fatal beginning of death. 

Abandon in life — vivacity, animation, ar- 
dour — is like music in that it gives and de- 
mands enlarged scope and freedom for action, 
and introduces us into an ideal world, where 
the will may find free play without harm, 


iriie jniiltftig of tpensonslttfi 

where " nothing beautiful is extravagant, 
nothing delightful unworthy." Those who 
walk the world in a cloak of unsurrendered 
rapture, however worn and threadbare their 
actual garments may be, are in possession of 
ampler opportunities and enjoy purer and 
more generous rewards than any unfair ex- 
travagance can command. They always have 
hope and faith and charity, because by some 
means they always keep attuned to unpolluted 
life, to nature, to the world, to society, to truth 
and beauty, and never permit themselves to be 
severed from the great choral unison of fel- 
low beings, nor cease from bearing part in the 
divine vibrancy of living. They may have 
griefs in plenty and adversities without end, 
but they will not live in tuneless despair, they 
will not become passive automata ruled by 
rote. Dance they must, and they refuse to 
dance without music. 

This metaphor of the musicalness of life is 
applicable to many things. The music of 
wealth is the freedom it gives us, the power 


of realizing our generous impulses immedi- 
ately and without hindrance, as in an ideal 
world. The music of night is its space and 
mystery and the liberation it offers the spirit 
from the unimaginative limitations of the 
day. They miss its music who do not yield 
to that fascination of vast majestic leisure and 
solemnity, as those miss the music of wealth 
who carry on their affairs, on whatever scale, 
in a spirit of penurious fretful timidity, with- 
out ever hearing the melody of spontaneous 
generosity and the greater harmony which 
would arise from making the utmost use of 
their resources, whatever they may be. The 
music of a great festival like Christmas is the 
spirit of renewed joy and kindliness which 
it celebrates. We miss that music altogether 
if we allow ourselves to make a burden of 
the day through petty selfishness or pride or 
greed, if we are unwilling to take pains for 
the enjoyment of others, if we let ourselves 
grow disgusted from a few hours' shopping, 
if we fear to give the little that we can afford 


iriie jnsltftig of l$tvfnmultt9 

joyously, or if wc demand material excesses. 
Great and worthy music is not produced 
without care and thought, nor sustained with- 
out effort. 

The music of life is written in the key of 
the ideal, in the time of the possible, and with 
the cadences of personality. To be without 
ideals is to be incapable of appreciating or 
reproducing this magic music. Its very 
source is ideality, its whole aim is to make 
use of the encouragement we derive from 
imaginary perfection, and to bring happiness 
actually to pass. Its rhythm, therefore, riiust 
not be impossible of performance; for ideals 
which are incapable of any practical realiza- 
tion are hardly ideals properly, but only fan- 
cies and phantasmagoria of the fertile mind. 
Moreover, it is only when the music of life 
shows a personal cadence, only when it is 
modified by this or that personality, that it 
has individual interest and significance. Per- 
sonal cadence is what transforms the music 
of life into popular (or unpopular) melody. 


Sfie jnitisfc of &f(e 

Abandon in life finds its most opportune 
and appropriate field in the middle realm 
of the spirit, midway between high-pitched 
thought and low-tensioned physicality. True, 
it has its affinities, its roots and blossoms, in 
both these regions ; it could not be born with- 
out taking thought of some object for an ar- 
dour and enthusiasm to attach to, and it could 
not be maintained without some pleasurable 
realization ; I but its service belongs chiefly 
to the emotional world. As the human voice 
shows its rarest beauty in the middle register, 
so the music we make of our lives shows its 
loveliest qualities when it is modulated to the 
compass and solace of the soul, between the 
extremes of attenuated thought and crude 
sensation. It can afford to make sparing use 
both of the deepest bass notes of the senses and 
the keen, thin treble of mentality. In the 
generous middle octaves where the chords of 
the heart are strung, it finds its most congenial 
and potential sphere, and while daring to 
sound all notes throughout the range of be- 


Sfie jnnltftig of l$tvMn9litp 

ing, uses most successfully and frequently 
those that are most sympathetic to human 
weal and woe. 

This does not mean, however, that any mel- 
ody can ever be made in the music of life 
without the command of the whole gamut 
The low strong notes, when needed, are in- 
dispensable to give force and body; the fine 
high notes to give clarity, definition and 
finesse. It is hardly possible to feel the aban- 
don of life without giving it some expression 
in voice or gesture, in speech or conduct, and 
without being influenced by it in imagination 
and thought. It is vital to the very essence 
of abandon that it should be shared by the 
whole personality without restriction. A 
strange sort of abandon that would be which 
stopped short with the impulse and never 
found vent in actual expression, nor ever had 
any effect on our ideas! Persons may accen- 
tuate one tone or another in human relation- 
ships, they may chiefly exchange thought or 
offer s)rmpathy, but not magnetically or mu- 


sically until the whole personality is harmoni- 
ously repreicated in the intercourse. You 
may form an acquaintanceship in a distant 
place by correspondence, but there can be no 
true fellowship or friendship until you meet 
eye to eye and hand to hand. The primitive 
wholesome instinct of the senses must be sat- 
isfied, as well as the more tenuous require- 
ments of spirit and intelligence, for in its 
sphere and at its best it is quite as fastidious 
and trustworthy as they. 

Thus it is that men drink together to biiid 
a bargain, or shake hands upon a transaction. 
The discussion of the subject and the final 
agreement to which it leads are mere proc- 
esses of understanding, where personal bias 
need play no part. But after the terms have 
been settled, and if the men feel a liking for 
each other, they instinctively turn to some 
natural physical expression of their unanim- 
ity and good fellowship; there is a relaxa- 
tion of insistence; the senses begin to beg for 
their part in the compact; then the glasses 


STfie JHoltftiii of M^ttuonulita 

arc filled and, " Here's luck to the venture!" 
They find gladness in that abandon and be- 
come participants in the music to which the 
world goes round. Or the music may only 
find vent in the altered tones of the voice. 
After hours spent in strenuous discussion, 
where brows are knit in close attention, where 
tones are high-pitched and looks intent, when 
a settlement is reached the tenseness of atmos- 
phere is relieved at once ; voices, looks, man- 
ners change and become free, glad, spontane- 
ous and attuned. 

So, too, in afiPairs of the heart, as our grand- 
sires called them, there is no assurance of a 
happy concord short of the ultimate test; and 
many a marriage has proved a pitiable dis- 
aster because the consenting mind and spirit 
led the senses blindfold into a relation from 
which they revolted without compromise. 
There is no foretelling the preference of in- 
stinct, and in these sacred matters, to do vio- 
lence to instinct because of any supposed ob- 
ligation to duty or advantage or self-interest 


is an abhorrent wrong punishable by death, 
— sometimes death of the body, sometimes 
death of the soul. How often, too, — perhaps 
how much more often — the opposite calam- 
ity occurs, when the too eager and willing 
senses find themselves responding to a seem- 
ingly kindred individual, only to discover 
when too late that there could be no harmony 
of feeling or understanding. Nature has ar- 
ranged that the body shall know its own kith 
and kin, as the mind and soul know theirs, 
with an instinct that is imperious and une- 
quivocating. It is this possibility of diver- 
gence between sense and spirit that works 
such havoc in our destinies, unless we learn 
at least to try to introduce some rational uni- 
son among our correlated but only half recon- 
ciled powers through their appropriate and 
symmetrical education- 

" But after all," you will ask, " are not folk 
bom with their characters and temperaments 
already formed? Can one change personal- 
ity? Can those who are naturally morose 


ever become cheerful, or the sullen become 
sunny of temper? " 

It is taking a great deal for granted, per- 
haps, to say that these seeming miracles can 
be wrought. And yet what else is education, 
but a process of forming character and 
moulding personality? If education did 
nothing but inform the mind it would be 
but a doubtful good. The chief function of 
life, perhaps, is to change and modulate per- 
sonality, — to evoke its beneficent qualities 
and restrain its dangerous deflections, to cul- 
tivate it, to complete it, to perfect it in poten- 
tiality and poise. To doubt the teachableness 
of the soul is to be guilty of the ultimate skep- 
ticism. You or I may be stolid and inflexible, 
tenacious of our own wills, refusing to learn 
wisdom of experience or to grow in grace as 
we grow in years, but the spirit of man is not 
so intractable. Our stolidity may be a matter 
of fear or small vanity or dulness of mind. 
But the spirit of humanity is, in the long ac- 
count, glad, gracious, malleable, fearless, and 


eager. It unfolds itself to seek new knowl- 
edge, as the leaves unfold themselves upon the 
hills to take the winds of spring. 

Would you be counted among the music- 
makers of life, among the company of the 
joyous and triumphant whom all their fellows 
welcome and no destiny can defeat? I know 
only one way of attaining to that happy state 
of being, if we have it not, — the way in 
which everything is accomplished, — and 
that is by deliberate endeavour. It requires 
most careful procedure throughout the three 
distinct though inseparable registers of living. 
As the first requisite to tunefulness in a mu- 
sical instrument is resonance, so the first re- 
quisite to tunefulness in a personality is re- 
sponsiveness of character. There is needed 
the ready and open spirit, willing and eager 
to respond in harmony when played upon by 
life, by beauty, by companionship, — glad to 
reply with alert appreciation to every kindly 
advance, every beneficent influence. We con- 
tribute to the music of life or not, as we will. 

STfie jnxftfnii of ]pet0on«lttff 

It is first of all a matter of volition and spiri- 
tuality. The soulless being could make no 
human music. 

After the voluntary desire comes the need 
of mental attunement, and in this we gain 
help by keeping ourselves surrounded by the 
masters. The culture of books and art famil- 
iarizes us with the best music of life that has 
been made throughout the centuries. Wher- 
ever there is a fine picture or building or 
statue to be seen, or any beautiful product of 
craftsman's skill, there is a trace of its crea- 
tor's personality, — a record of the music he 
could make out of life. The -flEneid is not 
only the story of the founding of Rome, it is 
the musical score of Virgil's noble personal- 
ity, left for our happiness and encouragement, 
to tell us how serene a strain, how glad and 
prosperous a harmony, that exquisite mortal 
was capable of, and how well he could accord 
with his own world and time. So, too, of 
any sincere work of art, — Paradise Lost, 
the Sistine Madonna, The Ring and the 


Book, the famous Ninth Symphony, Whis- 
tler's portrait of his mother, the Winged 
Victory, the Taj Mahal, — the many thou- 
sand vestiges of itself that the joyous creative 
impulse has left upon the earth. These are 
so many rhapsodies of significant and delight- 
ful melodies struck by original composers 
from the mighty medium of existence, and 
bequeathed to their fellows as possessions of 
incalculable value for ever. Their worth 
cannot be measured, for their influence is un- 
told, and to nothing can we give many hours 
more profitably than to their study and enjoy- 
ment. Yet must our enjoyment and our study 
be without envy or servility, for each one of 
us may be, indeed must be, a creator in some 
sort. A delightful garden, a lovely home, a 
well-served meal, or an arrangement of fresh 
flowers in a stone jug, may be our contribu- 
tion to the loveliness and happiness of the 
world, and serve as our message of joyance 
to those around us. 

Much has been written of bedside books 

true JUxftftm of tpetsonxlUff 

for the late hours of candle-light, — books of 
solace and peace suitable to induce rest and 
invite sleep to uneasy brains. But there 
should be morning books on the same shelves, 
volumes of inspiration and tonic cheer for 
our waking hours, when the spirit is unstrung 
and the mind unattuned. A brave, coura- 
geous thought or a happy inspired fancy when 
we first open our eyes, strikes a fine key-note 
for the soul to vibrate to, and helps us to set 
out upon the old road again to a quickstep. 
Can one read an essay of Emerson's or a lyric 
of Wordsworth's without hearing the fifes 
and flutes begin to sound, or turn a page of 
Marcus Aurelius without thrilling as to a 
bugle-call? And will not a passage from 
Isaiah or The Leaves of Grass lift up one's 
head like a roll of drums? Surely a day 
begun on such a note must come to a more 
tranquil, happy, brave and successful conclu- 
sion than one begun in a haphazard or dis- 
cordant strain. While without this assistance 
we might take up the work of the day in a 


dumb silence or sadly out of tune, by the po- 
tent aid of such suggestive themes we should 
be enabled to go gladly about our affairs, 
making a music of contentment within our- 
selves, vibrant, hopeful, and possessed. 

There is a third requisite, however, to be 
secured, before any harmonious rhythmic 
music can issue from these wondrous person- 
alities of ours, and that is perfection of phy- 
sique. We cannot all have equally beautiful 
bodies, but we can all make the utmost of 
those we have, and by right care and culture 
make them sufficiently wholesome, plastic, 
and expressive to serve our needs. Without 
such care and training, we shall have only a 
marred and uncomely instrument at our com- 
mand for the spirit to play upon. The soul 
may be never so eager and responsive, the 
mind never so receptive and cultivated, they 
must still be foiled in the making of the best 
music, any vibrant personal melody, if the 
body is ill or weak or hampered by restraint, 
or restricted by habit. All our exuberance 


and wisdom must be given a free and normal 
physicality through which to express them- 
selves before their expression can become ade- 
quate, effective, and vibrant, — before the 
personality of which they form the inward 
part can create its own motif in life. Their 
generous, impulsive abandon, their spontane- 
ous gladness or sorrow, their impassioned ec- 
stasy or doubt, will be stifled and mutilated if 
forced to find their only vent through an ill- 
conditioned, insensitive or immobile body. 
Not even a god could play upon a checked 
and broken reed. 

All these things are within the reach of 
every man and woman to accomplish in some 
measure. Any one surely can cultivate a 
cheerful responsiveness of spirit. Any one 
can own at least one wise book. Any one can 
command enough exercise and fresh air and 
cold water to ensure bodily health and come- 
liness. And yet out of such few and simple 
elements as these may the immortal music of 
life be evolved, — a little happiness of heart, 


a little understanding, and a modicum of care 
of these sensitive instruments on which we are 
to play- 
When some measure of this reconciliatio.i 
has taken place in any personality, how capa- 
ble of delightful melody it becomes, — how 
responsive to an innocent and happy abandon I 
Then, indeed, is the fine music of life made 
possible. Then, indeed, may that thrice for- 
tunate individual give thanks to the gods, for 
the music-makers in life are superior to cir- 
cumstance. Possessed of so lovable a talent, 
so indestructible an asset, they are ever3rwhere 
welcome for a charm that is never outworn. 
Whether they be wise or foolish, calamity 
cannot embitter them, nor age render them 
unlovely. Having once become thus attun- 
able, life plays upon them with all its infi- 
nitely variable phases, only to produce new 
measures of the infinite harmony. And 
through their power of music-making, their 
capacity of transmuting every experience into 
some intelligible theme, either of gladness or 


sorrow, they escape the monotony, the tedious 
insignificance of those who are discordant or 
mute. A nature in which such an adjustment 
has taken place may become as tuneful as an 
old violin ; it mellows with years ; so that to 
the end of life its ever-enriching tempera- 
mental tone gives forth, to wise and gentle 
evocation, strains of rarest music. 

When two such personalities meet and find 
themselves in harmony in all the realms of 
being, — unanimous, congenial, and at one in 
the delicate register of sense, — so that their 
individual melodies may blend and mingle 
with perfect freedom and without disparity 
or discordance, the greater eternal music of 
life begins to be heard in all its purity and be- 
witchment There can then be no jarring nor 
disunion in those two fortunate ones, no fatal 
blighting conflict between spirit and sense in 
either life, to tear it asunder as so many lives 
are torn, — no stirring of the blood while the 
heart is cold, no leaping of the emotional soul 
while the pulses still sleep, and neither infat« 


uation nor rapture without the glad, appre- 
ciative assent of the vigilant yet amenable 
mind. If love is the only source of abandon, 
the primal note in every melodious person- 
ality, it is also surely abundant sanction and 
sufficient fulfilment of the soul's greatest 

It is easy to recall in human history mem- 
orable names of characters who were verily 
permeated with the music of life. That, as 
a modern instance, was Stevenson's rare dis- 
tinction. There was the frailest of mortals, 
in no way exceptionally favoured by worldly 
circumstance, an invalid all his days, yet abso- 
lutely refusing to live without abandon. In 
spite of sickness or hard fortune, he would not 
dance without a tune, and made music every 
hour he was alive. There are myriads like 
him unknown to fame, cheery, brave, diligent 
souls, who will not succumb to dreariness, 
weariness, skepticism, nor despair. It may 
only be your Chinese laundryman, the porter 
who makes up your berth, the boy who runs 


sue iUxftftm of M^ttuonuUta 

your elevator, or the first cabby you pick up 
at the curb, who has the magic gift of tuneful 
joyousness that, unreasonable as it may seem, 
will nevertheless make him a more desirable 
acquaintance for the hour than lugubrious 
brokers or unctuous divines. And consider, 
in comparison (if report be true, poor gentle- 
man I), such an inharmonious character as 
Carlyle's. It is a pity that so sturdy a soul 
should become a byword for crabbed unhap- 
piness, but he comes to mind as an example 
of the type which is never happy, never makes 
music in life. His physical frailties were too 
great for him to overcome. A constant strife 
between body and soul, fretted by dyspepsia 
and railing against fate, make sad personal 
discord. He was among those who, for all 
their strength, have a mighty handicap to con- 
tend against in their own lack of harmony. 
The world is full of them, jangling, dissonant 
beings, corroded by peevish discouragement, 
incapable of evolving any concord in them- 
selves and unable to produce any resonant joy- 


ousness to sweeten their noise or gladden their 
silence or in any way heighten the pleasure of 
their fellows. For them no task is easy, no 
matter how great their genius. Though they 
were emperors or prelates, they would still 
be merely slaves and drudges of the world, 
full of dissonance and resentment, feeling the 
very gift of existence to be a bane. 

Abandon means fervour, ecstasy, enchant- 
ment of the mind, fascination of the will, 
en ravishment of the senses, vital generosity, 
recklessness of spirit, the fearlessness of intel- 
ligence. It constitutes the good measure of 
life needed for great growth that is the main- 
spring of progress, in science, in religion, and 
in art. Without some overabundance of im- 
pulsive ardour we should only stand still, 
having barely enough energy to carry us 
through from day to day, from birth to death. 
And yet the quality of abandon I am thinking 
of is not an attribute only of youth or of an 
excess of physical vigour. You may see many 
old persons who continually make music in 


their beings as they sit by the fire all day long 
with their reading or their dreams. It is not 
that they have never known sorrow; they may 
have borne many grievous burdens; but the 
central spirit within them has never been in- 
fected with the sullen discontent which makes 
happiness for ever impossible. Whatever 
evil destiny may have befallen them they have 
confronted with fortitude, never acknowledg- 
ing the supremacy of hatred or harm, temper- 
ing instead of mutilating the fibre of their 
being, and so remaining always resonant with 
goodness and gaiety and a courage of endur- 
ance that no frailty can destroy. They have 
never ceased, and need never cease from the 
ever welcome music-making of life, though 
many of their younger neighbours, perhaps 
more fortunate than they, with far less cause 
for the lassitude of despondency, may be cod- 
dling their moping souls in unbeautiful taci- 

Possibly these unfortunates never felt what 
abandon means^ nor ever heard the entrancing 


Sfie ^tt0ft of &ffe 

music of life calling to them throughout the 
world. But as I see such folk living in deso- 
late loneliness, dwelling, as it were, in the 
silent halls of gloomy exclusion, unlovely and 
unloving, harbouring to the last their grudge 
against the world, and as I contrast their de- 
feat with the happy triumph of those sunny 
dispositions who never refrain from sweet- 
voiced fervency of enthusiasm even in age, I 
shake my head, repeating to myself, " Life 
without abandon is a dance without music." 


Ejie Sotttt^ of tfie jiantr 

It is written in the Book of St. Kavin, 
"The eye for science, the mouth for relig- 
ion, and the hand for art." 

As the eye is the index of perception, and 
the mouth the symbol of desire, so the hand 
is typical of developed power and reveals the 
skill and efficiency of the personality. As the 
eye serves intelligence in the cause of truth, 
and the mouth serves the soul in the cause of 
goodness, so the hand serves in the making of 
beauty. With the eye we observe and reflect. 
With the mouth we shape our innermost 
yearning, our aspirations, thanksgivings, 
dreams, exultations, hopes, and despairs. 
With the hand we mould the plastic world 


sue Sottetff of tHe Ulanli 

to our will, to give form and permanence to 
our ideals. 

In no other way is the supremacy of man 
so clearly shown as in the possession of hands. 
Arts, cities, empires, civilizations are the 
work of his hands. With his naked hands he 
has remade the world. By the skill of his 
hands he holds dominion over the sea, and 
makes a garden of the desert. The round 
earth is covered with traces of his handiwork, 
and history is nothing but a record of his 
craftsmanship. Man has grown in justice 
and understanding, but in nothing is he 
greater than in the embodying of his love and 
his thought, — in the fair and meaningful 
things he has fashioned to please his imagi- 
nation and satisfy his longing. 

Mammoth ships plying through the sea 
under the stars, titanic engines racing east 
and west with their freighted trains, magic 
wonders of electric machinery in a hundred 
forms, thousands of implements for innumer- 
able purposes, all seeming so vast and omnip- 


8^ JWrttfHS 9t 9fnmMlf^ 

otent, and all controlled by die same dimin- 
utive, significant hand that contrived them 
widi such painstaking ingenuity and fondness. 
Watch a great steam dredge at work, or a 
great steam derrick lifting girder or monolith 
into place, with a precision diat almost seems 
rational and a strength that is like a cosmic 
force, and then suddenly realize that it is con- 
trolled by a hand of frail flesh and bone held 
intelligently on die gear. 
, To the student of personality die hand is 
jont of the most interesting and distinctive fea- 
tures. One can scarcely call it anything else, 
so sensitive is it in its response to emotion, so 
expressive and typical of character. Not only 
does it betray its calling and occupation, it 
also bears unmistakably the impress of die 
personality behind it. Like the face, it is only 
a plastic mask through which the individual- 
ity speaks and is recognized. Whether or not 
there is justification for the more elaborate 
and exact pretensions of chiromancy, it ofiFers 


sue Sotcftff of tue fl^uvin 

sufficiently rich field of study in the general 
unmistakable characteristics of the hand. 

The hand may be a great beauty of per- 
sonal expression or a great blemish. It need 
not have ideal shapeliness, size, colour, nor 
texture, in order to be lovely, and it may be 
most unpleasing in character and expression, 
while in size, colour, texture, and shape it is 
almost faultless. Many a statically flawless 
hand, like many a perfectly formed face, is 
beautiful only until it begins to speak, when 
its charm vanishes in incongruity and our dis- 
appointment makes it seem unlovely or even 
repellent. Awkward and inappropriate mo- 
tion and gestures unerringly reveal unlovely 
causes, — a fact that should be reckoned with 
in education. 

Pleasing hands can be made or marred at 
will. No other feature, except the mouth, is 
so controllable, so amenable to development 
and to education in expression, so sensitive to 
the formative influences of habit. Our eyes 


sue ^a(Kfn0 of l$tt»onulltig! 

change but little and with difficulty, under 
the slow process of a humanizing education, 
and we have almost the same eyes in maturity 
that we had in youth, but we begin to make 
our mouth and hands from our earliest years. 
So accurate a record of personal habits, pre- 
dilections, and propensities is the hand, that 
to perfect the expression of any given hand 
would be to materially modify the education 
of the individual. The hand is most readily 
educated, if not to perfection, at least to cor- 
rection of its worst habits. And well-edu- 
cated hands have ease and dignity and interest 
which give them a distinction beyond mere 
beauty. However small or large a hand is, 
it need never be embarrassed, if its faults have 
been corrected by good training. 

A supremely competent, adequate, clever 
hand is a rare distinction. The hand of the 
sculptor, the surgeon, the violinist, how elo- 
quently each speaks of its noble artistry. And 
the hand of the actor may be half his fortune. 
Not long ago I witnessed an amateur per- 


sue Sorters of t|ie fl^un}i 

formance of "The Heir-at-Law," in which 
Dr. Pangloss was played admirably by a man 
who had the most astonishingly expressive 
and well-educated hands I have ever seen on 
the stage. He was a teacher of reading by 
profession, and in this role showed admirable 
talent as an actor. In his hands it amounted 
to genius, so convincing were they, so grace- 
ful, so ready and inevitable in their gestures. 
On the other hand, there are persons into 
whose presence one cannot come without be- 
ing at once unpleasantly aware of their hands, 
which seem aggressive and malign in some 
abnormal way, and infect one with an instinc- 
tive apprehension. 

The aristocracy of the hand is not a mat- 
ter of whiteness and inutility, but of adequacy 
and finesse. The competent hand of a black- 
smith or a carpenter^ if it is strong and cun- 
ning in its craft, is more goodly to see than 
the pale ineffectual hand of idleness and va- 
pidity. The self-conscious curlings and atti- 
tudinizings of anxious underbred hands are 


sue ^a(Kfti0 of 3$et0onalUs 

no help toward elegance. The Chinese, who 
as a people have beautiful hands, and set par- 
ticular store by the significance of hands, con- 
sider white hands generally inelegant and 
inefficient, and indicative of crude, immature 
racial development. The smooth and shapely 
Chinese hand is as carnal, capable, and unim- 
passioned as the race itself; while the thin, 
nervous, knobby little hands of the Japanese 
are characteristic of a people overtrained in 
unselfish serviceability. 

There is love in the voice, there is under- 
standing in the eye, but in the hand there is 
a touch of that happy primordial sympathy 
out of which human relationships are made. 
The hand has not only refashioned the world 
into a place more habitable and fair, but daily 
it does the bidding of kindliness to make life 
itself more glad and easy. It cares for its 
children and its helpless, it cherishes those 
it loves, it offers welcome to the stranger, and 
in the eternal struggle for liberation it turns 
back oppression, injustice, and defeat. 


We talk so much about art nowadays that 
the average man in an average mood is apt 
to be betrayed into some disgust with the 
topic. " In the name of common sense, what 
is all this pother about? Our grandparents 
didn't talk about art, and they got along very 
well. Isn't there a lot of feeble cant regard- 
ing the whole subject? Shouldn't we be just 
as well off if no one ever heard of art, but 
went about the wholesome tasks of every day 
in the good old cheerful, thoughtless fashion, 
without any doubts or discussions of the mat- 

Unfortunately we cannot do that if we 
would. We are born into a time of unrest 


Zl^t ^uUinn of 39et0oniaU9 

and agitation, when all matters are under 
trial to be sifted for their worth. We must 
be skeptics and experimenters without stabil- 
ity of creed or certainty of procedure in the 
process of learning. The complexity of life 
has begotten a perplexity of thought, and the 
oldier ways of another century are no longer 
feasible. However weary we may grow of 
argument and analysis, of canvassing new 
projects in religion, in sociology, in education, 
in science, in philosophy, or in art, the burden 
of quest is upon us. Without recreancy to an 
inherited trust, we cannot abandon the search 
for truth. What the nineteenth century be- 
gan in its splendid work in science, we must 
push to symmetrical proportions in religion 
and art, that is to say in sentiment and in life, 
as well as we can. 

Art is a great pleasure. It may have what- 
ever other obligations you will; it may be 
asked to edify and instruct and ennoble, to 
espouse great causes, to decorate proud and 
barbarous civilizations, to express premoni- 

^lit fteaHen of SItt 

tions of the divine, or to serve the humblest 
craftsman in his need; but still its first con- 
cern will always be to render satisfaction 
to inarticulate but imperious cravings for 
beauty. The longing for aesthetic fitness and 
the enjoyment of it are instincts as deep and 
primitive as hunger itself, and they have been 
no less real in their effect upon life. To se- 
cure for them their due satisfaction is not only 
a legitimate aim, but one of the most delight- 
ful activities to which wc can turn our eager 
energy. One who is a lover of art in any form 
is a devotee of a pure and ancient cult, which 
superstition and bigotry and the pedantic 
wrangling of the schools have not been able 
to annihilate. He is partaker in an imme- 
morial universal religion, whose doctrines are 
renewed by every breath of the sweet wind 
of heaven, whose traditions are drawn from 
the twelve corners of the world, and whose 
invisible altars are fed by the fires of an inex- 
tinguishable ardour. 

Ah, no, wc are wrong, to grow impatient 

2r|ie ^a(Kfti0 of 39et0on9ltts 

over continued discussion of so great a theme! 
There are sober considerations in the subject 
which must appeal to every sane being, and 
which lead to the belief that a just under- 
standing of all that art implies would do more 
than any one thing to increase the happiness 
of men. Not a knowledge of the fine arts 
merely, but the knowledge and practice of art 
in every province of daily living; not only a 
cultivation of one or more of the arts, whether 
fine or industrial, but the habitual use of art 
in affairs everywhere at all hours. A rational 
art of life is the consummate flowering of 
human endeavour. To cultivate it may well 
be our persistent care, since it will make, to 
any personality, so rich and incomparable a 

An art of living, however, is as it were a 
generalization of art, and calls into execution, 
through conduct, those qualities of mind and 
temper and equipment which every good ar- 
tist must possess. A supreme artist is an artist 
not alone in his painting or his music, but in 


Ef^t iUartini of Sitt 

his every act and undertaking. He will have 
learned from the pursuit of his chosen calling 
such a love of perfection, such a sense of or- 
der, such an appreciation of aptness and pro- 
portion, that he will make all of his life as 
harmonious and lovely as his work. Some 
persons, indeed, have this passion for perfec- 
tion in the conduct of daily life, this genius 
for the art of living, so fully developed that 
they are not impelled to find a vent for their 
creative talents in the pursuit of any one of 
the specific arts. But whether one be an artist 
in conduct or in clay, the characteristics re- 
quired and fostered, and the principles ma- 
terialized by artistry, are much the same. It 
is a matter of devotion to spirit and outlook, 
to inspiration and aspiration. The real artist 
delights in perfect execution and finds happy 
satisfaction in adjusting means to ends, in 
finding adequate expression through any me- 
dium, and is never satisfied with anything ill 
done. " Only the best is good enough," must 
be his uncompromising motto. 


^f^t ^aKftifi of ^tvnonmts 

Do you think it would be an exaggeration 
to say that most of the faults of modern civili- 
zation spring from a lack of artistic appreci- 
ation? Why this endless strife between those 
who have and those who have not? Why, 
but for the fact that we all make mistakes 
about happiness, supposing that it must de- 
pend upon possessions, whereas it rests much 
more upon individual ability to discriminate 
wisely and to live selectively? Our incorri- 
gible mania for wealth comes from this mis- 
apprehension. The most inveterate and typ- 
ical money-getter is notoriously a man of few 
resources within himself and of little essential 
culture. Why shouldn't he chase his golden 
prize? He knows nothing better to do with 
his time, no other way to seek necessary pleas- 
ure of living. Poor fellow, he is often enough 
desperately in need of a little real happiness, 
of some touch of real gladness which he can- 
not buy. He is often enough as simple and 
kindly as he is capable, and his chief error is 
one of ignorance. Having the crude idea, 


^fit &e9tif n of SIrt 

common to uncultivated minds, that in order 
to enjoy life one only need own the earth and 
have all its pleasures at command, he does 
not find out until too late that to own is not 
inevitably to command. He has not discov- 
ered that enjoyment does not depend wholly 
upon good fortune, but is equally a matter of 
temperament and character. He does not 
know what the artist in life could tell him^ 
that happiness, while it is naturally evoked 
by pleasure, is essentially the product of per- 
sonality, and results only from a fortunate 
adjustment between the soul and its surround- 

This being so, it is the part of simple wis- 
dom to care for that adjustment. Such a task 
is eminently a matter requiring the most com- 
prehensive and subtle art; and when once this 
possibility is realized, it will no longer seem 
sensible to give wastefully of one's days, one's 
health and honesty and humanity, to the ac- 
cumulation of possessions. It will come to 
the mind like a breath of inspiration, that 


sue gautUns of J$tvnonulU9 

every moment of activity, every hour of eflFort, 
may be caused to yield an adequate gladness 
without anxiety, and that conduct from day 
to day may be made a fine art which shall 
dignify and ennoble life under whatever cir- 
cumstances. The inward triumph of the 
spirit, its native delight in all simple unex- 
travagant beauty, will then begin to make it- 
self felt, — the elation of the artist, an uplift- 
ing of the heart in joyousness such as Words- 
worth meant, when he wrote in his poem 
about the daffodils, — 

*' For oft, when on my couch I lie 
In vacant or m pensive mood. 
They flash upon that inward eye 
Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart with pleasure fills, 
And-dances with the daffodils/' 

There would come to any one who honestly 
tried to master the haphazard trend of events 
by confronting them with a rational skill, the 
same satisfaction which an artist must experi- 
ence in seeing his work grow from chaos to 


Slie ILeatien of Mtt 

ordered and meaningful loveliness beneath 
his hand. And conversely there would come 
to him who diligently cultivated an apprecia- 
tion of the fine arts an informing sense of pur- 
pose and proportion, and a love of perfection, 
which could not but make themselves felt in 
every undertaking of that sentient personal- 

This is no more than the object at which 
all culture aims, — the imparting to person- 
ality of a power to deal with life on fair 
terms. To be wholly without culture is to be 
wholly at the mercy of circumstances, incapa- 
ble of securing happiness by any wise means, 
incapable even of making a creditable liveli- 
hood. For culture must be considered a wide 
term, applicable to our most elementary ca- 
pacities as to our most refined. To be culti- 
vated is, not to possess extraordinary learning, 
but to possess a personality adequately 
equipped to appreciate and meet the demands 
of life successfully, — not only with the prim- 
itive success which means a comfortable or 


luxurious living, but with the higher suc- 
cess which implies a sanity and joyousness of 

Through symmetrical culture we attain 
the point of view of the happiest and wisest 
ones of the earth, wherever they have left 
record of their gladness or wisdom. Through 
a cultivated acquaintance with art in all its 
works of beauty we come to be infused with 
the enthusiasm, the insight, the sincerity, the 
glad and prospering spirit of the masters 
great and goodly, who saw what was best in 
life and had the incomparable gift of making 
that boon apparent to others. So the beauti- 
ful products of art, pictures, statues, operas, 
dramas, poems, churches and houses, old rugs 
and furniture, silverware, jewels, carvings, 
tapestries, costume, when they are eminently 
excellent, become so many foci for the spread 
of that happy state of being which the orig- 
inal artists experienced in creating them. All 
who encourage and educate themselves to be- 
come appreciators of such things, to know 


Slie ILestien of Art 

their value and feel their influence, undergo 
a change and refinement of character which 
a crude manner of living, however strenuous 
or extravagant, can never exert. They are 
able to add to the physical and fundamental 
power, with which primitive life endows us, 
the loftier and subtler attributes of a culture 
both intellectual and moral which it is the 
chief aim of any civilization to bestow. In 
so doing they become initiates, or at least nov- 
ices, in the joyous cult of creative art; they 
come to understand the satisfaction which 
artists take in perfection, and to attempt the 
development of it through daily affairs. 

Specialized artists are not as a class the 
happiest of mortals. But that is because they 
fail to relate their ideals naturally to life, 
rather than because they are vowed to the 
exacting standards of perfection. Unhappi- 
ness comes upon them, as it would upon any 
one else, in consequence of folly and indiffer- 
ence and wilfulness and mistake; and their 
devotion to art^ which is often held to be the 


Slie ^uUlnu of ^tvnonuUiti 

cause of their misfortunes, is in reality the 
only mitigating factor in their lives. When 
an artist makes a ruin of his career, it is not 
art that is to blame, but his own bungling 
irrationality. It would be truer to say that 
he missed happiness, because his art was too 
partial and wayward and short-sighted. 
Great artistry, such indeed as does not often 
make itself manifest, if it should take posses- 
sion of a man, would not dissipate itself in 
unreasonable creations of empty and fantastic 
beauty, but would permeate the man's whole 
nature, touching his mind as well as his spirit 
and his senses, and making him sane and 
happy as well as inspired. 

We need not look on the artistic tempera- 
ment, therefore, with Philistine supercilious- 
ness. For in itself it is a wholly excellent 
quality, needing only tQ be balanced by some 
sober traits of common sense of which the 
practical man claims the monopoly. Prac- 
tical common sense avoids many disasters and 
insures useful creature comforts. By itself, 


Slie lif stim of Art 

however, unmixed with warmer and more 
spirited characteristics, it may be a very bleak 
and joyless equipment. It needs, for its per- 
fecting, the complementary strength of ar- 
dour, the touch of fearless elation, unspoiled 
faith, and imagination, a sensitiveness to 
beauty and an aspiring loving-kindness, that 
are perennial. To be effective for happiness, 
common sense must be winged with a touch 
of artistry. When once this truth is realized 
it will never be undervalued nor discarded. 
The leaven of art in life glorifies human 
effort and achievement by infusing beauty 
through every undertaking, by instilling can- 
dour in the mind, and by filling the heart with 
a gladness that could not have been foretold. 
Art is a paper lantern, perishable but indis- 
pensable, whose flame is goodness, whose light 
is truth, whose sides are patterned with shapes 
of beauty, and whose office is to illumine and 
make festal for us the rough and devious road 
to perfection. Without art we must remain 
sombre and dispirited wanderers, distracted 


sue J«l«|{;fn0 of JfitvnomlltS! 

amid the mazes of a meaningless and hostile 
world. With it we may do much to unravel 
a significance from the dark oracles of fate, 
and render existence not only bearable but 
biddable, glad, and fair. Art in its widest 
sense covers all provinces of life^ and with 
religion and science forms a sort of philo- 
sophic trinity representing all that man may 
do or feel or know. But just as many men's 
emotions and thoughts never rise to the level 
of religion and science^ so most men's acts and 
work rarely rise to the level of art. In 
achievement art gives the final hint of magic 
which differentiates a maq from a machine, 
— that evidence of variable human mind 
which no automaton can ever reproduce. 
The glory of art is only that it makes earth 
more habitable and humanity more divine. 

The business of art is to afford joyancc. 
When it fails of this, it is bankrupt altogether, 
being unable to meet its legitimate obliga- 
tions. Since few can live as joyously as they 
would, what a shame it is that great gifts of 


Slie lif stim of Art 

expression should ever be wasted on heinous 
and joyless subjects I Think of the hideous 
and revolting plays with which an impover- 
ished dramatic art overloads our stage in an 
attempt to stimulate sensation, regardless of 
beauty, regardless of the whole truth, and 
more than all regardless of that inward core 
of human love which is only goodness under 
another namel Good art is not an expensive 
thing, weighed in the scales of the counting- 
house. Yet it is priceless in that it cannot be 
bought with any amount of money alone. 
There must always some love go with its 
price. And while it becomes one of the chief 
requisites of a happy life to surround our- 
selves with art, that does not mean that we 
must have costly trappings and outfit and ex- 
pensive homes. A modest apartment on 
which thought and care and taste have been 
lavished with loving generosity may be a 
beautiful home where one is thankful to be 
made welcome; while across the Park some 
monstrous pile of stone may lift itself against 


sue iRIsKftifl of J$tvnonuUi9 

the sky, a monument of pathetic ambition, a 
warehouse full of costly and unlovely mer- 
chandise, an offence to taste and an affront to 

Good taste is no respecter of prices; it 
knows values, appreciates worth, and reveres 
beauty wherever it finds it. Nor does it ever 
grudge to pay the utmost cost for beauty in 
patience, toil, painstaking, and devotion. It 
will gladly lavish a whole day in rearrang- 
ing a room, matching a colour scheme, or 
finding an inevitable cadence. He is but a 
slovenly artist in letters who will not wait a 
week for the irresistible word, if need be, 
though knowing all the while that genius 
would have found it on the instant. Taste, 
which plays our good angel in matters of 
beauty, is as scrupulous as conscience, as un- 
erring as reason, and guides our senses in the 
disputable ways between the unlovely and the 
desirable, just as those sensitive, incorrupti- 
ble monitors of the soul and mind guide us 
in the regions of conduct and of thought 


Slie lif atini of Art 

It is no sign of good taste, however, to pur- 
sue some petty art to the exclusion of all other 
obligations, but indicates the old false notion 
that art is something elegant and genteel con- 
ferring a superiority on those who follow it 
Whereas the truth is we should all be artists, 
artists in our own life and artists in our own 
work, however inconspicuous that work may 
be. An artist is any one who glorifies his 
occupation. It is no evidence of artistic apti- 
tude to spend days and years in playing the 
ineffectual amateur, while all personal af- 
fairs are allowed to run as they will; it is 
rather an indication of a self-indulgent, ir- 
rational nature. An instinct for the art of 
living is greater than an overemphasized 
single talent or personal preference, and its 
obligations are more primary, more impor- 
tant, and more closely bound up with the 
problem of happiness. Creative art can have 
no character nor value nor beauty, if the life 
that nourishes it has not first its due order and 
significance and seemliness. The tent must 


sue gauklnn of J$wnon9lU9 

be pitched and the fire lighted before we can 
expect the goddess. To muddle or neglect 
the first duties of life is fundamentally and 
to the highest degree inartistic, since it throws 
us back into a chaos from which neither 
beauty nor joyance can spring, and where the 
creative impulse, however genuine, must 
eventually perish of morbid sickness. 

Literary and artistic folk are almost pro- 
verbial for carelessness in dress and demean- 
our and the small amenities of life, and often 
think it a mark of distinction to be so. Mag- 
nifying their own art, often with a praise- 
worthy singleness of devotion, they forget that 
the art of life is a larger matter, including 
their own particular craft, imposing its limits 
and reservations, as it bestows its facilities and 
advantages, on all alike. Painters often dress 
unnecessarily unbecomingly, though their 
taste is fully trained to befitting appropriate- 
ness in colour and costume in any key of cost 
or requirement. Poets and writers, whose 
chief concern is wisdom, are often among 


sue lUoHeti of Art 

the most unwise of men in the conduct of their 
own lives. While women, who one would 
suppose might always be credited with per- 
sonal nicety and loveliness, often seem to 
fancy that absorption in music or letters or 
painting gives them the liberty to be disor- 
derly, distrait, untidy, and irresponsible. 

It is such false procedure and thoughtless 
reasoning that bring art and ideals into dis- 
repute, and cause havoc in the lives of so 
many artists. A sober realization of the ne- 
cessity and desirableness of an art of individ- 
ual living would make such mistaken over- 
emphasis impossible. The great thing is to 
keep one's mettle from becoming distem- 
pered, and this is not to be done by evading 
and ignoring the requirements and desirabil- 
ities of actual life, but by meeting and master- 
ing them. To overindulge an artistic bent to 
the limit of its capacity is to induce a self- 
dissatisfaction, a mordant f retfulness of spirit, 
and ultimate disappointment; while the mod- 
ifying and regulating of special capability, 


through the successful handling of practical 
concerns, affords a training which is most 
likely to insure a masterly success in the 
chosen art. 

Art as a revivifying element in life plays a 
part similar to nature's in her tonic recreative 
influence. We must dwell in the sun and 
open air, within sound of the trees and be- 
neath the touch of the sweet wind and the 
rain, shunning too much of the sedentary, de- 
teriorating life of houses, if we would grow 
sound and glad and sane. Just as truly we 
must not be wholly given over to out-of-doors, 
nor be satisfied with maintaining a primitive 
animal wholesomeness. Life for the modem 
is not so simple as that. There are inerad- 
icable hungers of the mind to be satisfied, pas- 
sionate desires of the soul for legitimate grati- 
fication in creative art, unconquerable and 
goodly aesthetic impulses which must not be 
defrauded of their development. Let us have 
an ample life in the open, to keep us sane and 1 
strong and sweet; but life in art also, to keep 


0|ie iLeatini of ^tt 

us interested, growing, civilized, and humane. 
Only under influences tending to cultivate 
symmetrically the body and the intelligence 
can the spirit be most bravely fostered and 
happiness most surely emerge. 



It is easy to be an impractical dreamer. 
There have been seers and prophets in all ages, 
but there have also been ineffectual vision- 
aries who wasted their lives in idle speculation 
and moody discontent, lost among the clouds. 
It is easy, too, to be absorbed wholly in prac- 
tical affairs and put dreams aside altogether, 
as many men do from sheer f aintness of heart 
at the prospect of unremitting toil i;diich ex- 
istence demands. But it is not easy to be both 
inspired and practical at the same time, for 
that implies a nice balance of appreciation 
under the supervision of an unbiassed judg- 

It is easy to build castles in the air; one 

9f iif jttiev «tt9 Sttfl^er 

may spend whole days in that seductive occu- 
pation; and it is almost equally easy to lay 
one brick upon another without giving 
thought to anything except the mortar be- 
tween them. But he is master of his world 
who can both plan and achieve, who keeps his 
plans within the bounds of the achievable, and 
brings his achievements up to the require- 
ments of his plans. His castles, though pro- 
jected in Spain, he sees reproduced, perhaps 
after long years and perdurable patience, 
from the solid ground before his eyes. 

In "The Last Ride Together" you may 

'' WKtt hand and brain went even paired ? 
What heart alike conceived and dared ? 
What act proved all its thought had been ? " 

And it is true and natural that some must be 
preeminently designers, and others preemi- 
nently builders; yet each must gain a modi- 
cum of the capacity of the other, for the best 
efficiency and cooperation, and for rendering 
the best service to the world. We must spe- 

SClie JUaltfns of l$tvnonulitp 

cialize, indeed, for the finest productivity in 
the liberal arts and industries. But it is not 
good for a man to specialize so closely and 
excessively as to lose his breadth of under- 
standing and sympathy, and impair the nor- 
mal completeness of his own nature and de- 
velopment. For after all, the arts exist for 
man, and not man for the arts. And the full- 
est and finest art of all, the art of life, de- 
mands that whenever our pursuits begin to 
work more harm than benefit, we should 
change or amend them. 

When it comes to the consideration of 
standards of personal culture and precepts of 
conduct, the sanest criterion must be to keep 
our ideals and actions in close accord. Ideals 
are good, but they are not all equally good, 
and those are best for our life here and now 
which can be realized in some degree by pos- 
sible effort. It is a dangerous habit to in- 
dulge in dreams which can never be accom- 
plished — as if a mariner on the Atlantic 
jhpuld occupy his time in plotting courses 


among the South Sea Islands. There can 
never be any radical divergence between the 
different elements of a man's nature and life 
without injury therefrom. To lead one life 
in dream and another in reality is a fatal du- 
plicity, innocent though it seem. 

It is in youth that we are most subject to 
the seductions of vague, magnificent and elu- 
sive ideals. We are easily carried away by 
the splendour of looming possibilities, sus- 
tained by enormous ambitions, and impatient 
of the plodding prosaic measures of our sires. 
We scoff lightly at their methods of prudence 
and hold practicality generally in imperious 
contempt. Life is all poetry to our inexperi- 
ence, and we are very willing to take its intox- 
ication of beauty, without asking for its fun- 
damental structure of reasonableness and ex- 
cellence. Whatever is humdrum or rational 
seems to partake too much of the earth for 
our fastidious fancy. We chafe at caution, 
demur at the authority of tradition, and arc 


sriie JUsftftifl of l$tvuon9liis 

eager to disrupt the world in the confident 
belief that we could 

^ Remold it nearer to the heart's desire/' 

As we mature, however, we learn a justcr 
estimate of things ; we perceive that, however 
faulty this world may be, it is the one we have, 
and it is folly not to make the best of it. To 
that end we come to value ideals in propor- 
tion to their applicability to life. We see that 
they are of little use unless they can be made 
practical aids to daily life, and we begin to 
select from our vasty dreams those which can 
be translated into action or art. We learn 
that the soul must condescend to live, and that 
its daily task is the merging of the ideal in the 
actual, and the gradual transforming of the 
actual into the ideal. Dreamful youth grows 
aware that this is the sanction of life; la3rs 
aside its noble scorn of the practical ; submits 
itself to the stern inevitable law of rational- 
ity; and pours its energies, not into the pur- 
suit of vain and futile imaginings, but into the 


accomplishment of possible and immediate 
betterment As Thoreau remarked, youth 
gets together the materials for a bridge to the 
moon, and maturity uses them to build a 

In thus resigning our too exclusive occupa- 
tion with dreams we are not recreant to any 
lofty obligation ; we are, in fact, progressing 
upon the pathway of perfection. We are 
merely discriminating among our ideals, dis- 
carding the less useful, in order that the more 
valuable may be cultivated and realized. 
The garden of our being needs careful weed- 
ing and thinning out and keeping in order, 
just as a flower bed docs. If the story of the 
cosmos shows any intelligible significance or 
trend or purpose, it is surely this — a constant 
embodying of thoughts in actions, a constant 
attempt to crown longing with fulfilment, a 
continuous and unflagging effort to bring 
about the realization of ideals. This is the 
one strand of revelation which runs through 
all history of nature and man, and we are only 


SCfie JUaltfns of l$tvuonuUt9 

in close relationship with universal tenden- 
cies when we are engaged in some such em- 
ployment — in putting our convictions into 
practice, in making our dreams come true. 

Whatever there is of beauty in the world 
must have been imagined before it was 
wrought; whatever there is of truth must 
have been postulated before it was verified; 
whatever there is of good must have been de- 
sired before it was brought about. And what- 
ever there is to be of these things in the future 
for the benefit of men can only come to pass 
in the same way, by being imagined first and 
then made actual. 

" All wc have willed or hoped or dreamed of good, shall exist, 
Not its semblance, but itself," 

says Browning; and we are not properly men 
nor women until we give ourselves without 
reserve to the furthering of that great cosmic 
scheme, adding our energies to the energy of 
the universe, in helping beauty to be bom, 
and knowledge to appear, and the longing 


spirit to find happiness and satisfaction in 
creative activity and growth. 

Nature herself produces phenomena with 
a seemingly wasteful prodigality, but we have 
hardly her time or resource at our command, 
and so we must economize our endeavours 
and not spend too many hours in weaving pat- 
terns of ineffectual dream. Many a man 
misses success only by a hairVbreadth, so lit- 
tle it takes to deflect destiny and turn good 
fortune into defeat. He may be full of kind- 
liness and unselfish ambitions and splendid 
imaginings, and yet never have realized the 
futility of a life given over to contemplation 
devoid of deeds. He spends hours in musing 
upon schemes of happiness and perfection, 
only to feel the profound dissatisfaction 
which must come with a surfeit of inaction. 
He grows more and more timid and distrust- 
ful of his powers, the more he abstains from 
energizing. He gives his will no exercise, 
and falls daily into a state of feverish hesita- 
tion or supine despondency. He deludes him- 


self with childish dreams of unaccomplish- 
able greatness, while all about him lie actual 
benefits and possibilities only waiting to be 
utilized. He misses the substance of life in 
reaching for the shadow, and passes joyless 
years simply because he does not know where 
joy resides. The materials from which hap- 
piness can be built are ready to his hand, only 
needing an intelligent will to put them in 
place ; but he is too absorbed in contemplat- 
ing the plan of his impalpable architecture 
to pay heed to the realities of construction. 
So his whole life crumbles in failure for want 
6i industry and a sense of values and propor- 

The fate of the man without ideals, on the 
other hand, is hardly more to be envied. He 
is so engrossed in the execution of business or 
affairs that he takes no time to look upon his 
work, to question whether it is good or not, 
he brings to it no spring of delight and but 
a petty ambition ; he has no thought beyond 
the gain of the moment; he is too dull to see 


Sf 0f jttiev «n9 Stifl^er 

that his work can be anything more than mere 
drudgery, or that he himself is not the mere 
sport of cruel fate. Without a glint of the 
divine dream of perfection, he can hardly be 
entrusted to execute the commonest task as it 
should be executed, while for large enter- 
prises he is sadly unfitted. But I must think 
that such men are not as common as we might 
suppose, and that there are really few who 
are not illumined at times by fitful gleams of 

There are many, however, belonging to a 
third class, who have both industry and imag- 
ination, a genius for practical activity as well 
as for ideals. And it will sometimes happen 
that these characters, aware of two diverse 
trends of nature in themselves, may attempt 
to dissever these two tendencies, and to lead 
two lives, one of every-day prosaic affairs, 
and one of lawless fancy, expecting the unreal 
splendours of the one to compensate them for 
the actual difficulties, disorder, and discour- 
agement of the other. It is a similarly pa- 


SClie iHsftfns of IPer0on«lft9 

thetic fallacy that leads us to imagine a 
heaven where the ordinary activities of the 
world do not obtain, where all our human 
powers are to be in some mysterious way laid 
aside without detracting from our capacity 
for enjoyment, where we are to dwell in a 
state of passive beatitude, yet without any op- 
portunity to employ those energies and capac- 
ities whose exercise forms our only happiness 
in this world. 

The hopeless incongruity of this idea does 
not strike us, nor does it often occur to us to 
emparadise the present, as a certain good, and 
let the future take care of itself. Yet the 
purest satisfaction to be found in life lies in 
bringing our best dreams to pass, — in giving 
useful form and timely existence to what wc 
have imagined of good and fair. This is the 
service of the true idealist, the heroic dreamer, 
the man worthy to dwell in a world of rich 
possibilities, in fellowship with the indom- 
itable designers-and-builders of the immemo- 
rial past and the future that is to be. 



That " Manners' make the man " is a say- 
ing with truth deeper than mere common- 
place observation in its sound philosophy. 
Neither Chesterfield himself, that paragon of 
deportment, nor the incomparable Barney 
McGee, in his 

«« Chesterfield's way with a touch of the Bowery/* 

can be imagined without the potent manners 
that were natural and characteristic and 
memorable in them. For good manners can- 
not be donned nor laid aside like a coat. 
Whether ceremonious or simple, they are the 
expressive and appropriate garment and pro- 
tection of personality; and it is one of the 


sriif SfMkina of l^ttuontAitp 

tests for them at their best that they are ha- 
bitual and can never be misjudged as being 
assumed or affected. The least touch of affec- 
tation or insincerity is fatal to their value. 
To have bad manners or " no manners " is to 
announce oneself a boor; but to use false 
manners is to betray sad ineptitude. 

When manners are real and actually reveal 
the inner personality, how mighty they arcf 
So potent are they, indeed, that we are often 
carried away by them, and our judgment is 
dazzled by our enthusiasm, in response to the 
sway they exercise over the senses of conunon 
humanity. The might of manners is as great 
as the majesty of mind or the supremacy of 

There is no denying the palpable pleasure 
of excellent manners, their ease, their advan- 
tage, their charm and grace and economy, and 
the distinction they confer upon the plainest 
dealing. But a headlong and headstrong age, 
devoted to achievement for mere achieve- 
ment's sake, is apt to consider them superflu- 


SClie illf0||t of ill«nnet» 

ous after all — a mark of lightness and arti- 
ficiality, if not of effeminacy. Our ingrown 
virtues are prone to arrogance and an over- 
weening self-reliance, and are too ready to 
discount the veritable though subtle power 
which manners possess. Truculent merit, as- 
sured of its own unassailable honesty, and re- 
enforced perhaps by an abundance of physical 
vigour, scorns to employ any suavity of de- 
meanour, any graciousness or tact in present- 
ing itself, for fear of seeming to concede an 
atom of its own angular integrity. 

The mistake is not an uncommon nor an 
incomprehensible one, but it is a grave error 
none the less. For manners are not an arti- 
fice, but an art of true behaviour, inherent in 
all procedure, and as clearly related to fine 
feeling and wise purpose as speech is related 
to thought. They form the very embodiment 
of personality when it seeks for social expres- 
sion, and are every whit as essential as good 
intention or intelligence. Manners are to 
ethics what the shell is to the sea-urchin, not 


SClie Jllsftftis of IPer0Ott«lits 

merely a domicile to be changed at will, but 
a structural part of the very being, — an out- 
ward formation at once protecting and identi- 
fying the individual within. They interpret 
our meaning and transmit our emotions even 
more truly than words, thus making possible 
for the spiritual prisoner in the flesh a life 
of interesting and pleasurable relationships. 
No one is insignificant who has distinguished 
manners. And no one need be misunderstood 
who will make his own manners expressive 
of his meanings. 

Manners, if we will cultivate them as they 
deserve, give us the means of escaping from 
the doom of miserable loneliness, unintelli- 
gence and brutality which would otherwise 
be ours, and which is the fate of all repressed 
and thwarted beings. They are sanctioned 
not only by a code of courtesy and considera- 
tion for others, but even more by the authentic 
joyous freedom which they offer ourselves. 

The master of good manners is ever3rwhcre 
welcome for his service. Awkward situations 


sriie Jllf0!|t of illant»r0 

vanish at his approach, embarrassments are 
removed, and the air is cleared as if by elec- 
tric magic. Such an influential force is in 
itself no small asset in any personal account 
Far deeper, however, than this obvious social 
power, and much more permanently valuable, 
is the serene poise and inward balance of 
spirit, the glad sense of capability and satis- 
faction, which must always accompany the 
possession of good manners and their scrupu- 
lous practice. 

In the last analysis, to live without manners 
would be as detrimental to the soul as it 
would be to the body to live without exercise. 
They form a legitimate medium for the activ- 
ity of our spiritual selves, just as necessary and 
just as adequate as the world of work and play 
is for the activity of our physical powers. 
And while manners without an intelligent 
morale are indeed but a lantern without a 
candle, the noblest morality without compe- 
tent manners to convey its beneficent purpose 
can be but an ineffectual light. 


sue jnsltitiii of M^tvwnulits 

There are many who live like dark lan- 
terns all their lives, bearing about with them 
a store of illuminating knowledge which they 
never show. They are often of excellent abil- 
ity and irreproachable habits, but without 
elasticity, generosity, vivacity, or any accus- 
tomed power of self-expression. They may 
be philosophers, scientists, farmers, or of any 
trade or occupation. It is not a question of 
calling, but of culture and character. Bom 
perhaps with a naturally shrinking or sullen 
disposition, that unfortunate tendency has 
never been corrected in them by an adequate 
cultivation of pliancy, courtesy, and ease. 
For lack of that liberalizing freedom which 
manners bestow, they are never at home in 
their environment, but are either self-con- 
sciously excited or morose, without ever 
knowing where the cause of much of their 
unhappiness lies. Careers are often marred 
and stunted for want of a sufficient and cov- 
eted means of expression for admirable pow- 
ers. Disappointed people, not realizing what 


Slie iRIfgHt of inaninf r0 

this lack is, are filled with wonder as they see 
themselves gradually outstripped by their in- 
feriors, persons of less force, less intelligence 
and less aspiration, but expressing better what 
they are and what they want. 

Even nniore to be regretted is the case of 
those who deliberately despise nnianners and al- 
together discount their value, who find them- 
selves well placed in the world, with well- 
mannered people all about them, and yet from 
a mere exaggeration of the ego, or from a lack 
of comprehension of life, or from an inborn 
defect of taste and the delicacy of the artist, 
insist that rough-and-ready is always well 
enough, and honesty of purpose need take no 
account of the prejudices and sensibilities 
through which it has to take its way. Many 
a man has wrecked a brilliant career and nul- 
lified all his own great efforts solely by disre- 
gard of good manners. fFhat to do to ensure 
success he knew very well; why to do it he 
also knew; but that how it was to be accom- 
plished was of equal consequence he did not 


cue jS»uftinu ot jpetisotiadfts 

know at all. Yet they symbolize a trinity of 
conduct, these three small words, and indicate 
a science, a religion, and an art of life, no one 
of which is greater or less than the other. 

What are good manners? How are they 
to be enlisted, and what is the secret of com- 
manding so enviable a possession? To be 
without them is to be unequipped in any com- 
pany and to act as a discordant and disquiet- 
ing, if not an actually disrupting, element 
To have them in perfection is to possess the 
faculty of putting oneself in harmonious rela- 
tion to all persons and circumstances, and of 
abandoning oneself to the spontaneous re- 
quirement of any occasion. Not to be anxious 
for oneself and so become self-conjscious, re- 
strained and embarrassed, nor to be violent 
or effusive and so embarrassing to others, but 
to yield to time and place and situation what- 
ever they may demand in order to make the 
occasion happy and free ; in some such mood 
as that lie the sources of good manners, of 


cue iRIfgHt of jgiSlunnttu 

courteous bearing, and the effective presenta- 
tion of personality. 

How then, you ask, can the day be carried 
by one whose preference and best judgment 
are pitted against the judgment and prefer- 
ence of ten others, each as much entitled to 
consideration as oneself? Not by bullying 
and self-insistence, for that would only whet 
their opposition. Not by palpable truckling 
and insincere concessions, for these would 
only win contempt. Better, by an even regard 
for the point at issue and a well-mannered 
devotion to impersonal right. 

Those remarkable women who make them- 
selves memorable in the minds of their con- 
temporaries and in history by their social 
power, who hold their salons, charm their 
guests, delight and sway their friends with 
such incomparable skill, never accomplish 
it, you may be sure, by worrying about them- 
selves. One drop of self-consciousness would 
annul their magic. Such leaders must yield 


Slie iRIsltftiii of ipmsonslfts 

with a happy abandon to the spirit of every 
occasion, shaping and controlling it with as 
subtle a nniastery and as essential a genius as 
any other artist bestows upon his creations. 
How great and unsuspected are nniany of the 
difficulties they nniust meet and surmount, yet 
how charming and apparently easy are the 
triumphs they secure I 

It is not for them to sit by and criticize in 
passive enjoyment They have no time to 
worry whether or no their own toilette is un- 
rivalled, nor to sulk if the soup is not hot 
enough, nor to flurry over details. The spirit 
of the hour must engross all their attention 
and effort from instant to instant. All petty 
mishaps must be settled before or after the 
occasion. While the function is in progress 
it demands all the mettle of the successful 
hostess to keep the atmosphere alive and the 
interest free. A canoeman in a rapid has no 
time to worry about the colour of his hunting- 
shirt, nor to fret because the tobacco was left 
at the last camping-place; his wits are busy 


cue iUfflUt of ifHunmtn 

enough avoiding the dangers that are strewn 
thick about him; hidden ledges, jigged rocks, 
sweeping undercurrents, and climbing waves 
absorb all his attention and prove or disprove 
his skill. 

To forget oneself in the larger interest of 
the event, to be capable of sincere and serv- 
iceable abandonment to the exigency of the 
moment, this is the secret of good manners. 
In heroic cases how impressive it is I What 
a large part of the power of all great men 
have been their manners I The traditions of 
Alexander, Hannibal, Napoleon, Pericles, 
Dante — of most of the worthies of old or 
later time — teem with instances of the com- 
pelling potency of apt and unequivocal man- 
ner. Such men had the art of doing things, 
as well as the inclination and foresight. They 
knew the importance of method, and never 
dreamed of depending on force or intelli- 
gence alone. Good manners ate infectious 
and help our dearest wishes and ideals to 
spread and germinate in hosts of other per- 


sue inadtfnji of M^ttuonulits 

sonalities unconsciously in a primitive way, 
unattainable by any nniere argument however 
unanswerable or any compulsion however 
overwhelming. Our logic may be flawless, 
our will indomitable, even events themselves 
all in our favour, and still success in any en- 
deavour will be most difficult if we have not 
the saving grace of a competent manner to 
supplement our purposes and execute our 
cherished plans. 

There is no faculty more indispensable to 
success in the intricate diplomacy of life than 
the power of fine abandon. It helps us to 
yield to the inevitable without a grouch. If 
we miss our train, let us amuse ourselves by 
watching the crowd until the next one leaves. 
When fate blocks the highroad it is idle to 
sit down peevishly in the dust; better take to 
a circuitous footpath at once and enjoy the 
flowers we would otherwise have missed. 

The abandon which underlies good man- 
ners is more than mere self-effacement, for it 
requires a positive appreciation of the deci- 


C^tie illfglit of insnmris 

sive claim of the moment and an unreluctant 
giving of one's best self to that inexorable 
demand. It implies a capacity not only for 
unselfishly yielding petty individual prefer- 
ence, but for generally and unfeignedly ap- 
preciating and furthering a common cause, 
and is an ennobling trait never to be found 
in mean or calculating characters. The talent 
for behaviour varies in races as in individuals, 
and lends to those who possess it an irresist- 
ibly endearing charm. It is a source, rather 
than a product, of civilization, emancipating 
the heart and liberalizing the mind. 

Some of the most prominent nations seem 
to be conspicuously deficient in the distinc- 
tion of good manners, while others far more 
primitive appear to have them in an eminent 
degree. One cannot help thinking of the 
Latin peoples, with their inherent grace of 
doing, as conspicuously proficient in this re- 
gard, in comparison with nations of other 
stocks, less volatile and less alert. The man- 
ners of Old Spain are proverbial, and many 


C^He inadtftiii of l$ttuonulU» 

a traveller has felt in modern Italy or France 
a charm of gracious manners that compen- 
sated for many inconveniences. 

An aptitude for good manners may appear 
as unmistakably among the illiterate as among 
the most cultivated. The Negro, for exam- 
ple, has an almost incomparable genius for 
manners. The interest which the men and 
women of that race take in ceremonious cour- 
tesy, in kindly expression, in the small amen- 
ities that make up, after all, so much of pleas- 
urable life, in social behaviour and personal 
diplomacy, is a most marked and lovable 
trait. To " forget your manners ** is with 
them a serious imputation, and we may profit- 
ably emulate their gay and spontaneous ease, 
their dramatic sincerity and politic grace. 
Have we not all known coloured people 
whose manners put our own to shame? As 
a child, I myself had a Negro nurse in the 
North, a tall young woman, an aristocrat of 
her race, whose careful speech and courtly 
manner I remember most vividly, though I 


C^!lt illfglit of sffLunntvn 

fear I have often fallen short of the example 
she constantly set her young charge in the use 
of unfailing politeness and scrupulous Eng- 

In a different way, of a different sort, how 
excellent are the Indian's manners at his best! 
The majestic dignity of many an old chief 
could only be matched in the House of Lords, 
so surely do brave blood and breeding tell. 
Your self-made man is seldom finished to the 
extent of manners. As compared with the 
finest product of the Old World or the New, 
he is like a statue of Rodin's, so different from 
the classic — very potential, very significant, 
very striking, if you will, but not fully 
emerged from crude formlessness. The la- 
tent power is all there, — the thought and 
originality, — but they have not been brought 
to perfection. They await their release in 
delectable manners, in finished form which is 
the ultimate achievement of art. 

Good manners are not necessarily formal 
nor conventional nor correct. They may 


Slie inadtftiii of ^tvnonultts 

often make themselves felt even through the 
difficult media of awkwardness and bad 
grammar. They have a syntax of their own, 
whose principles are apprehended by the 
heart and transcend the inflexible usage of 
the academy. For them there is no such thing 
as tyranny of custom. At the right moment, 
with force of human sincerity, they may 
change the rules of etiquette, they may over- 
rule the decisions of punctilio with a look, and 
alter the devices of convention with a word 
Under the exigency of loving exuberance they 
may cast cramping dogmas of behaviour to 
the winds and disclose a new revised rubric 
of conduct. Good manners can never fear 
innovations, for their very existence and all 
their right procedure are based upon the finest 
intuition of the moment. They are fresh 
and refreshing as the loveliest morning, and 
original as the personality they clothe. The 
best manners, however, maintain distinction 
and originality through gracious recognition 


cue illfglit of insnmris 

of accepted codes and graceful adaptation to 

Good nnianners are a revelation of good 
feelings; and to have good feelings and a 
desire to make them known is to possess the 
first elements of good manners. Actually to 
attain them, two things more are needed, — a 
knowledge of usages and an adequate and 
adaptive expressional skill. That is to say, 
in order to be well mannered one must have 
three requisites, — the humane prompting, 
the understanding, and the art. When these 
become habitual and instinctive they result in 
manners that are well bred as well as good. 

The command of expression, which must 
supplement the generous wish before one can 
acquire the perfection of elegant manners, is 
something that people are wont to think of 
slightingly as an artificial and superfluous ac- 
complishment. As a matter of fact, excel- 
lence of expression is no less valuable than 
excellence of thought or intention. It mat- 


sue iHsftftw of M^ttuonuUis 

tcrs little how kindly disposed you may be 
in your heart toward me, if you make me feel 
uncomfortable by your brusquerie or boor- 
ishness. Expression is quite as necessary, 
quite as incumbent a responsibility, and quite 
as deserving of respect and cultivation, as the 
inward prompting of kindliness itself. The 
best manners require not only a kindly spirit 
and intelligence but also a plastic and intel- 
ligent body for their manifestation. And that 
is not to be had at its best without care, edu- 
cation and training. 

To move and speak with all the convincing 
beauty of motion and purity of tone that the 
best manners imply requires superior culture 
of body and voice. There may be a natural 
aptitude for these qualities in fortunate in- 
stances, but there must always be advantage 
from education as well. Rules of deportment 
have their uses, but they can no more produce 
good manners than an excellent recipe can 
produce a good pudding. Material and ma- 
nipulation are indispensable. The physical 


C^!lt illfglit of illsntmns 

training which facilitates good manners also 
evolves the spirit of good nature which must 
underlie them. This is the real reason of the 
importance of a code of conduct and a scru- 
pulous insistence upon the keeping of that 
code. The best impulses which arise in hu- 
man instinct are thereby steadied and made 
habitual, effective, and dominant. 

Instances of the power of manners both 
grotesque and beautiful appear about us every 
day. A young and popular American actress, 
cultivated and well born, was recently enter- 
tained by her friends at a small dinner in one 
of our best restaurants. She arrived amid a 
flurry of smiling welcomes, and found a huge 
bundle of American Beauty roses upon her 
table. Heaven knows what sentiment of ap- 
preciation she sought to convey to her hosts 
by the act, but she laid the flowers in her chair 
and sat upon them throughout the evening. 

A few months ago New York entertained 
a Japanese dignitary with much civic hospi- 
tality, and among other notable places in the 


metropolis took him to see Grant^s tomb on 
Riverside Drive. Instead of turning away 
when his visit to the resting-place of the illus- 
trious dead was over, he kept his face toward 
the monument, walking backward down the 
steps and well past the immediate vicinity, 
as a mark of respect to a great man and to 
a nation's pride in his memory I To our more 
abrupt and hurried way of thinking there 
may seem to be a touch of the fantastic in such 
an elaborate ceremonialism, but on deeper 
consideration how fearlessly natural and spon- 
taneous we feel that tribute of reverence to 
have been ! To be rude or inexpressive where 
some instinctive manifestation of gentle cour- 
tesy were more natural as well as more be- 
coming is to stifle the springs of human cour- 
age and beneficence at their inmost source. 

That a generous and general practice of 
good manners stimulates and disseminates fine 
aspiration, nobility of character, and grace of 
living, is beyond question; and until appre- 
ciation of that truth becomes more wide* 


sue iWffl^t of iglantiet0 

spread among individuals and nations, not all 
the sterling qualities of heart and brain can 
avert the consequences of rudeness, nor justify 
arrogant infatuation with a mannerless age. 



That we should need to recall the use of 
out-of-doors is of itself a criticism of our con- 
temporary mode of life and a confession of 
our indoor dangers. So habited have we be- 
come to living under roofs and behind glass, 
that living out-of-doors is strange and un- 
usual. We turn to it only occasionally and 
then as to a novelty, as if we were about to 
make a journey into a foreign country. The 
wholesome sting of a sharp autumn morning 
strikes fear into our flinching bones, and we 
huddle and dodge from cover to cover, as if 
the open heaven were our enemy. At the 


sue WLnt of 0uUoUJBoot» 

first drop of temperature from torrid summer 
heat, we rush for overcoats and clamber into 
closed cars, in very fright at the freshening 
of God's breath upon us. 

The old Germanic superstition as to the 
poison of the night dissipates but slowly. You 
may still find many persons who will not sleep 
with their windows open for fear of the 
" night air," nor within reach of moonlight 
for fear of lunacy. In the West Indies the 
Negroes shut themselves up to sleep in their 
cabins, with every door and window closely 
battened down to keep out the evil spirits, 
despite the beauty and warmth of the tropic 
night. The luminous wheeling stars and the 
great shield of the moon cannot tempt them 
to leave so much as a chink uncovered. It is 
piteous to have such unwholesome fears. Our 
good friends, the skeptical doctors, are teach- 
ing us better, with their fresh-air treatment 
of pneumonia, tuberculosis, and kindred 

Do not let us be afraid of out-of-doors! 

sue iWaitfnii of ^ttuonulits 

After all, there is our freest safety. We were 
born and nurtured in the open for aeons before 
cities were thought of or suburbs invented. 
We had ridge-poles, it is true, and hearth- 
stones, tepees, and wigwams and igloos, but 
we had no sewer gas nor soft coal smoke nor 
dinning noise of streets. Our life was derived 
from a nature whose sunlight and oxygen are 
unlimited, where pure water is abundant, and 
where food, if scarce, is at least not adulter- 
ated. We have harnessed the earth and mod- 
ified her powers for our own uses, making it 
possible for a thousand men to live where 
formerly hardly a hundred could survive, but 
we have not been altogether wise with our 
cleverness; and in the flush of triumphant 
civilization we are in danger of forgetting 
some of the old essential benefits of humanity. 
Air and sunlight and water in abundant 
purity are built into the tissue of these bodies 
of ours by the secret chemistry of nature, and 
there can never be any manufacturing a sat- 
isfactory existence without a plentiful supply 


sue WLnt of euUoUBootu 

of them. Nothing takes their place and wc 
only cheat ourselves if wc think to do without 
them. We may put up with factory-made 
commodities and all the impositions of com- 
merce, if we will, but there is no substitute 
for open air. It is not only a choice between 
outdoors and indoors, it is a choice between 
out-of-doors and death. 

It is more a matter of self-preservation than 
of anything else. In the universe of animal 
existence to which we belong, the great nat- 
ural elements and laws are inescapable. It 
is not strange, since we are sprung from the 
operation of these laws and forces and ele- 
ments, that we must inevitably lose through 
any divorcing or alienating of ourselves from 
their beneficent powers. We are not wholly 
animal, it is true, but we are fundamentally 
so; and our spiritual strain which we so cher- 
ish and seek to cultivate can never be made 
to grow away from its physical base and 
source. Surely it is short-sighted to wantonly 
weaken and destroy that strain through which 


sue SUluUinfi of |9rt0oti«ltt9 

our being is materialized and kept growing. 
There can be no saving the soul alive, either 
for men or nations, if the body be allowed to 
sicken in ignorance or neglect. And yet how 
people cling to the fallacy that growth of the 
spirit and the mind may be induced without 
regard to the health and normal wealth of the 
body, through which they move and learn and 
have their being. As well believe that roses 
will grow without roots, as that human happi- 
ness and knowledge can ever reach their de- 
sired perfection in a puny race or in an inade- 
quate physique. 

To breathe deeply, to sleep soundly, to walk 
well, to be unflurried and undespairing, to 
take from the bounty of the earth only so 
much as will serve just needs, — these are 
some of the things we learn at nature^s knee 
and forget in our greed. 

One need not be a detractor of our own 
time to praise justly the more primitive life 
of the open. Life in ages gone was more 
perilous than it is to-day. In those small 


sue WLnt of ^ttt::Of::SOOt0 

classic and mediaeval cities, whose names are 
surrounded with such picturesque glamour, 
life was doubtless more unwholesome than in 
our own Babylons. In our sanitation, our phi- 
lanthropy, and our multifold conveniences, 
we have outstripped them beyond measure; 
and yet there remain the elemental needs to 
be remembered and respected. Our social 
customs, habits, usages, our personal require- 
ments and fashions of living, all change with 
the centuries; our ideals, thoughts, senti- 
ments, ambitions have changed many times 
with changing civilizations; but the great 
primordial human hungers and wants are no 
other to-day than they were in Eden. And it 
is really in unconscious obedience to those 
deeper necessities that we rebel against many 
of the demands which civilization imposes 
upon us, and turn to nature for relief from 
the petty exactions and disordering complex- 
ities of life with which we have become en- 
" Going back to nature," does not mean 

sue ipSiuUlni of ^ttnonulitti 

going back to savagery nor to barbarism nor 
to any pestilential past; it only means open- 
ing the doors and windows, and stepping out 
to reclaim each his share of the riches of 
earth^s sufficiency, the leisure and sunlight 
and gladness which have been from the begin- 
ning only waiting to be utilized and enjoyed. 
We go back to nature every time we take a 
deep breath and stop worrying, every time we 
allow instinct to save us from some foolish 
indiscretion of greed or heedlessness or bad 
habit. A tiled bath-room is not essentially a 
menace to health; neither is a roll-top desk, 
nor a convenient electric light, nor any one 
of the hundred luxuries we have become hab- 
ited to. As the good emperor might have 
remarked, " Even in a modern hotel life may 
be lived well." All of our triumphs of me- 
chanical genius are so many means of living 
the more easily, if only we make use of them 
appreciatively, instead of being mastered and 
undone by them. When a luxury becomes a 
burden it ceases to be a luxury. That would 


sue WLttt of euUoUBoottt 

seem to be a very simple piece of logic, yet 
it is not always easy to follow^ and we are apt 
to cling to our supposed luxuries long after 
they have grown to be nuisances. It is chiefly 
a matter of selection, adaptation, and elimina- 
tion, of taking what is good and discarding 
what is harmful in the great flood of com- 
modities which civilization brings to our serv- 

The benefit of out-of-doors is not that it 
takes us away from civilization, but that it 
restores us to ourselves. Its profound essen- 
tial satisfactions build themselves into the 
character and become part of the personal- 
ity. All that suits out-of-doors is so elemental 
and normal that living within its mighty 
influence must gladden and normalize and 
deepen our natural selves, renewing our 
worth in temper, in health, and in sanity. 

Houses were made for shelter, not for con- 
finement; for freedom, not restraint; they 
were intended to enlarge our sphere of activ- 
ities, not to diminish them. They were to 


sue jffiuUinfi of iprtsotialfts 

provide us a protection against the elements, 
so that busy, happy life could go on unhin- 
dered by extremes of climate. After food, 
shelter is the first requisite, — the first trace 
of himself which man imposes upon the nat- 
ural world, and the most primitive and last- 
ing evidence of the handiwork which grows 
into all the arts of all the centuries. Houses 
foster the family and facilitate progress if we 
do not abuse their protection. We have with- 
drawn into their still and comfortable re- 
cesses, slept in their warm chambers, toasted 
ourselves over their easy fires, read by their 
unflickering lights, and eaten from their over- 
bountiful boards so long, that we are grown 
pale, timid, peevish, and thankless withal. 

We have kept ourselves away from the 
wind and the sun and the lashing rain, from 
the feel of the earth under foot and the sense 
of the leaves and stars overhead, until we no 
longer know the keen and simple joys of being 
alive. We have set up barriers against the 
inclemency of nature, and cowered before her 


sue 2l0e of euUoUl^ootu 

severe austerity, until now we have forgot- 
ten how indispensable is all her kindly nur- 
ture, how tonic her rugged ways, how full 
of solace her assuaging calm. 

Houses were only made to live in when it 
is too cold or too hot or too wet to live out-of- 
doors. At any other time out-of-doors is best. 
Out-of-doors is the only place where a man 
can breathe and sleep and eat to perfection, 
keeping the blood red in the cheek; and those 
are the three prime factors in the life of hu- 
mans, the three first great rhythms of our be- 
ing. It is almost impossible to get enough 
fresh pure air inside of four walls, and it is 
not possible at all to keep the wholesome flush 
of health in rooms unvisited by daily sun and 

To sleep out-of-doors for a month is better 
than a pampered trip to Europe. In this cli- 
mate one must have a roof, of course; but 
any piazza that is open to three-quarters of 
the heavens will serve as a bedroom; and the 
gain in happiness is unbelievable. With an 


sue jffiuUlnfi of 3|rt0on«IU9 

abundant supply of good air sleep soon grows 
normaly deep, untroubled and refreshing, so 
that we open our eyes upon the world as 
gladly as a hunter or any pagan shepherd in 
the morning of the world. Too often wc 
grow anxious and flustered and harried with 
distractions; the goblin of worry becomes an 
inseparable companion indoors; and we 
groan in spirit that the universe is all awry; 
when in truth half a dozen deep breaths of 
clean air lend a different complexion to life. 
Our anxieties are nearly all artificial, and are 
bred indoors, under the stifling oppression of 
walls and roofs, to the maddening clangour 
of pavements, and a day in the open will often 
dispel them like a bad dream. 

We are crowded and hustled and irritated 
to the point of phjrsical desperation. In our 
thoroughfares and marts, our tenements and 
tiny apartments, our shops and street cars, we 
revert pretty closely to the jostling of the 
original herd and pack. Is it any wonder that 
we should throw back to a primitive ruthless- 


sue 2l0e of enUoUJBooxu 

ness in the stress and haste of competition? 
Can you ask for manners in the midst of a 
scrimmage, or look for moral steadiness in a 
nervous wreck? With more air and sun and 
ground, we find fewer instances of immoral- 
ity and despair. For a return to nature is a 
return to good nature. 

True, we cannot at once incontinently leave 
our tasks and wander at will out into the 
green world whenever the wind sets from a 
pleasant quarter; but for all that, there are 
many steps that we may take toward reestab- 
lishing our divine heritage and rightful por- 
tion in the delectable commonwealth of out- 
of-doors. And the best use we can make of it 
will surely consist in wholesome normalizing 
exercise, — not necessarily in living out-of- 
doors more than we do at present, but in 
living there more wholesomely and naturally. 
A drive through the park, to take the least 
promising example, may be made a means of 
recuperation and health, or it may be almost 
worthless. To sit well in the carriage, breath- 


sue jffiuUlnfi of tprtsonaditj? 

ing freely and deeply, is one thing; to sink 
among the cushions, hardly breathing at all, 
is quite another. Many a woman takes her 
afternoon drive with almost no benefit at all, 
— except to the horses. Just so one may walk 
or ride or play tennis with such unfortunate 
habits of motion as to gain little good from 
the exertion ; while a better trained physique, 
with less expenditure of time and energy, 
would easily obtain more beneficial results. 

Out-of-doors is the birthright of every man 
and woman alive. The roads are free, if the 
land is not yet; there is plenty of life in the 
open air to be had for the taking; and widi 
a little thought we may all increase our share 
in that inheritance of uncounted benefit. No 
land has a finer out-of-doors than this. Win- 
ter or summer, there is hardly a comer of it 
that will not afford you tolerant and kindly 
treatment, and reward your confidence a 
thousand fold. The seaboard, the mountains, 
the great plains, the farmland valleys, the 
noble rivers, the forests, the deserts — they 


sue Uttt of ent^cUJBoctu 

are all good to live in. Where we have not 
polluted and profaned them, they retain the 
purity and majesty of clean creation; and 
they are ever waiting to reinforce us with 
their nobility and strength, to soothe our fret- 
ted nerves, to console us with fheir leisurely 
endurance, to inspire us again with something 
of the natural dignity we have lost. They 
will discount our clever practices and shifty 
ways, but they will teach us instead methods 
of thought and conduct, a poise of character, 
better befitting our preeminence as human 
beings. When we breathe and move freely 
once more, we shall begin to realize our pos- 
sibilities of greater happiness. 


It docs not need a philosopher to note how 
volatile happiness is, how variable and seem- 
ingly beyond control. Its sources are hidden 
among the springs of life; its volume and 
current, because they are so largely unmate- 
rial and essential, appear uncertain ; and like 
those rivers which lose themselves in the des- 
ert, its radiant stream is often dissipated in 
arid distractions and confusing cares. Pure 
as a mountain brook in its origin, it too often 
frets itself away in tortuous channels, mud- 
died by passions, perverted by mistakes, or 
contaminated by resentment and regret 

Happiness is an essence which is so readily 
extracted from life at times that one might 


Sfit Somitifoti of 3I09 

suppose its formula easy to discover. But it 
is not so. Being secretes happiness out of ex- 
perience as the bees secrete honey from the 
flowers of the meadows; not promiscuously, 
of course, nor indiscriminately, and always 
with consummate ease. The process of its 
distillation, like the production of honey, is 
veritable magic, and belongs among the nat- 
ural mysteries. 

We know in truth very little of the making 
of thi^ divine extract; for the most part we 
are willing to take it without question and 
spend it without care; and we are almost 
equally ignorant of any rules for its preserva- 
tion, though it escapes more quickly than any 
other aroma. It may appear in response to 
the wizardries of beauty, the summons of 
truth, or the impetuous demands of desire; 
and seemingly without rhyme or reason it 
may depart as quickly and inevitably as it 
came, leaving only the vaguest recognition of 
the conditions that invite it. Certain general 
laws which govern happiness are plain 


Sfif iniiltinii of ^ttnonulita 

enough for all to understand, and philoso- 
phers have essayed to formulate its compo- 
nents and stimuli; but how are we to com- 
mand it with any surety, or guard against its 

With such knowledge we should be lords of 
as much of the empire of destiny as any sane 
man need wish. This is that secret which no 
oracle ever could declare, that enigma which 
no sage could ever solve, the one problem 
which absorbs the emperor and the hod-car- 
rier, the philanthropist and the vagrant, the 
duchess and the drab, — every living figure 
in the whole tatterdemalion pageant of hu- 
manity, — with equal persistence and almost 
equal disappointment You may write me 
learned treatises and expound pedantic mo- 
ralities on the nature and sources of happi- 
ness, but what I want is a plain answer to a 
plain question, How can I be happy at will? 

If I commit murder or theft or any crime 
against my fellow mortal, it is easy to foresee 
that I shall be unhappy; for other beings are 


Sfif Somitifoti of 3I09 

only extensions of myself, part of the same 
spirit, parcel of the same stuff, and I know 
instinctively that any violence against them is 
an outrage against the laws of my own being 
and an offence to my own spirit. You need 
not explain to me that nothing but unhappi- 
ness can spring from evil doing. I know that 
very well already. For I know better than 
any one can tell me that the evil deed is born 
in blackness of heart, and that happiness only 
visits a soul innocent of malice. Again, if I 
violate my instincts, I know I shall be un- 
happy, — if I eat or drink inordinately, if I 
am unreasonable and wayward and lawless in 
my habits, and fail to give rational care to my 
physical well-being. As a child I learned 
that I must not put my hand in the fire; as 
a man I am learning that I must not harm 
any one else ; and the first law does not seem 
any more arbitrary to me than the second. 
They both seem natural and inevitable and 
I begin to perceive that we cannot be happy 
in transgression. 


sue insKinii of 39f t0on«l»9 

Not to transgress, however, is hardly 
enough to ensure happiness. The laws of in- 
hibition are not guide posts on the road to 
the land of heart's desire, but only danger 
signals; they point nowhere, they are only 
warnings against disaster, and while they may 
save the wayfarer from destruction, they ad- 
vance him little on the highway of perfection. 
You may abstain from every indiscretion, vio- 
late no rule of health, and still be an ineffec- 
tual stay-at-home. You may keep every one 
of the shalt-not commandments, and remain 
a gloomy prig for all that 

In the garden of the heart innocence and 
abstinence are hardly the finest flowers of con- 
duct; they are but cleanly soil from which 
such flowers may be induced to spring. The 
virtue of a man is the strength of his essen- 
tial spirit, not his mere harmlessness or pas- 
sivity. Just as the only test for the virtue of 
salt is its savour, so the only test for the vir- 
tue of the heart is its joy. There is no happi- 
ness for us humans save in the normal excr- 


Sfif Sominfoti of 309 

cise of our senses, our intelligence, our emo- 
tions. If we claim that privilege for all men, 
we shall have an ample serviceable creed 
enough, and if we attempt to secure it, we 
shall have a happy enough task. 

The direct pursuit of pleasure, or to de- 
mand happiness, may indeed be futile; but 
the instinctive pursuit of our activities is not 
futile, unless it be ill-advised; and from such 
pursuit, when it is wisely ordered, some es- 
sence of happiness is inevitably derived. 
Happiness comes to us not as a reward of 
merit, but as a proof of worth. It is not a 
recompense for abnegation, but a natural sat- 
isfaction in normal life, an incalculable result 
of real deserving. It is not to be found in 
violation of fundamental laws, for the simple 
reason that those laws, so far from being arbi- 
trary restrictions imposed upon the human 
spirit, are merely the inherent laws of its own 
development and growth. 

The Dominion of Joy is divided into three 
provinces or states — the state of mind, or the 


Stif iniiltfnii of I$ttu0n9lii9 

Province of Truth, the state of spirit, or the 
Province of Goodness, and the state of body, 
or the Province of Beauty. Like any worldly 
realm, its boundaries are invisible and its in- 
terrelations various. There is no saying 
where the province of sense ends and the 
province of mind begins, nor where either of 
them joins the province of soul. These de- 
marcations exist in theory only, on the map 
of the imagination. As a matter of fact, you 
may pass from one to the other and never 
know it, just as you may cross the line from 
New York into Connecticut without perceiv- 
ing any difference. While each phase of be- 
ing may have its own peculiar traits and beau- 
ties and resources, with its own necessary laws 
and customs, industries and appurtenances, 
they are all equally under an interactive gov- 
ernment throughout — the great triune code 
of manners, morals and meditations. 

The Dominion of Joy is as wide as the uni- 
verse in which we dwell. Wherever the foot 
may tread and the soul subsist, there its be- 


Sfit Somftifon of 3I09 

neficent power may extend. Its terminus is 
no nearer than the outmost star that glimmers 
within the sweep of vision. A flower by the 
wayside, a moonrise over the roofs of the city, 
a quiet sunset among the purple hills, the sud- 
den flash of a passing glance in the street, the 
scent of some remembered perfume, a breath 
of spring wind stirring the blind at an open 
window, the blessing of a beggar^ the sight 
of a masterpiece in a museum, news of an old 
friend, a strain of music, the skill of an acro- 
bat, or a seasonable word — any one of these 
ordinary occurrences, if we be capable of apT 
preciating it, may transport us instantly to 
the borders of this dominion, invest us with 
a cloak of happiness, and disclose to us a mo- 
mentary glimpse of immortality. 

The Dominion of Joy is neither a despot- 
ism nor a democracy, yet it is wider than any 
commonalty and finer than any aristocracy. 
It confers upon its citizens the freedom of the 
world, and gives them a distinction of bear- 
ing, an air of radiance, a compelling power, 


sue insKftm of ^ttnonvlits 

such as no other aristocracy can bestow. 
There may be degrees in its social order, but 
the poorest of those who live within its rule 
is a more charming figure than joyless em- 
peror or sombre king. 

Yet the great ones of the earth may be 
greatest in its peerage, too ; for as the blame- 
less Roman said, " Even in a palace life may 
be lived well." Joydom is not founded on the 
fanaticism of scullions, nor on the haughty 
ruthlessness of the strong, but on the basis of 
every man^s normality. It has no peculiar 
costume, no compulsory language, no racial 
features, no traits of character by which its 
inhabitants may be told. Its only signs are 
the laughing lip, the kindling eye, the kindly 
hand, and the foot that is light upon the pave- 

Inhabitants of the Dominion of Joy belong 
to a primitive tribe whose type is universal. 
They may vary in stature and in colour, in 
contour and in motion, in gesture, voice and 
habit; they may be black or red or yellow or 


Sfif dominion of 3I09 

white, Hindu, Malay, Celt, Slav or Negro; 
but under these trivial marks of latitude they 
are all of one breed, betrayed by the eager 
step and the radiant glance. Though speech 
may be a babel of many languages, there is 
no mistaking the elemental meaning of the 
tone of happiness, the inflexion which signi- 
fies content. Before mind had anything to say 
to mind or any words to say it in, heart had 
its confidences with its fellow heart in soft 
caress and crooning love-note. And to-day, 
so lasting are these traditions of joy, that pro- 
testation and eloquence are superfluous be- 
tween friends, and vain between those who 
have become estranged. 

Beauty is the common tongue in the Do- 
minion of Joy, — beauty with its elements of 
truth and its finish of graciousness, — and 
speech in that language has an instant pass- 
port to the hearts of men. No expression of 
beauty can fail of appreciation; no matter 
what its dialect may be, its welcome is secure, 
its place prepared, its worth established. 


a:fif iniiltfnii of ^tvttonalita 

Moreover, those who give their days and 
nights to the study and practice of beauty, to 
the creation of loveliness in any form, arc 
thereby naturalized in the Dominion of Joy 
and take on unconsciously the guise of its 
gladsomeness. Those who cause beauty to 
gladden in the world are rewarded by the 
afterglow of happiness in themselves, so near 
is dust to dream, so truly are human achieve- 
ments a part of the divine. 

There are many roads that lead to the Do- 
minion of Joy through its different provinces, 
some of them broad and sumptuous, others 
inconspicuous and half hidden from view, 
some thronged day long with travellers, oth- 
ers unfrequented save by an occasional way- 
farer. But those who are really wise confine 
themselves to no single province of the great 
realm, for they know there is an unwritten law 
of the Dominion to the effect that no one shall 
be allowed to thrive exclusively in any one 
of its precincts, but all who grow within its 
borders must share in all its influences and 


Sfif Sominfoti of 3^9 

have some knowledge of all its resources. 
Sensualists have tried to preempt the delight- 
ful Province of Beauty; pedants have at- 
tempted to monopolize the Province of 
Truth ; and bigots have endeavoured to usurp 
the Province of Goodness ; but all have found 
their purposes equally vain. For it matters 
not by what road one may first approach the 
Dominion of Joy, once within its borders, 
one must learn allegiance to its federal pow- 
ers, and not merely to its partial interests. 

The clamour of the imagination and the 
senses for pleasure, the call of the mind for 
satisfaction in reason, and the cry of the spirit 
for loving-kindness, often seem to imply a 
distraction in our nature. In reality these are 
not diverse demands, nor contradictory, but 
essentially identical, variously conveying the 
single wish of the personality for happiness. 
And never by degrading any one of them, nor 
by debauching any one, can anything more 
than a damaged and perishable happiness be 
obtained or preserved. For happiness, that 


Sfit iniiltitiii of 39er8on«lft9 

simple test of successful effort, is abiding only 
where it is harmonious and where it may 
freely range through all the regions of being. 
It cannot be obtained from any pursuit of 
the intellectual life, however single-minded 
and diligent, if that pursuit is carried on at 
the expense of health and generosity. No 
following of the so-called holy life can secure 
happiness if the body be marred and broken 
with wilful tyrannies and degradation, and 
the mind insulted and restrained from its law- 
ful reasonableness and natural convictions. 
Much less can the nimble senses cling to hap- 
piness for more than a moment at a time, re- 
gardless of our respect for truth and our love 
of impersonal goodness. Happiness is at 
home only where soul and mind help flesh, 
and flesh helps them. 

It is not easy to retain the franchise of this 
Dominion of Joy, though no mortal is by 
birth ineligible for that fine privilege. Some 
indeed are born to it by good fortune of in- 
heritance ; and even they may lose it by per- 


Sfit Somftifoii of 3op 

versity or neglect. But those who do not con- 
form so easily to its radiant governance, its 
serene and fostering atmosphere, may never- 
theless prolong their sojourn there, if they 
will take some precautions, and be at some 
pains to achieve so delectable and so noble a 

Happiness, let us admit, is not a relative 
thing, as pleasure is, but a positive condition 
of the spirit regardless of surroundings, a 
fundamental state of being in which normal 
personality finds the justification and value of 
life. A man may be happy in the face of 
death, and wretched amid luxury. Frail 
women have gone to the scaffold for a be- 
loved cause with a smile upon their lips, and 
sturdy men have dragged out wretched years 
in palatial discontent. You may environ a 
man with all the comfort that pampered fancy 
can imagine, and still fail to ensure to him 
a moment's unmitigated joy. You may toss 
him upon a desert or transport him to Siberia 
with equal impunity, without destroying his 


sue iHsltfiiii of ^ttn^nulitp 

happy poise of being, if he happens to be one 
of the fortunate children of the kingdom of 

Pleasure depends upon material things, 

upon circumstances and events, and may be 
had in some measure even by the desolate, the 
selfish, the evil-minded. It is often a pallia- 
tion of unhappiness, often a distraction of the 
desperate, but it can never be a substitute for 
veritable happiness of soul and essential peace 
of mind. Joy cannot visit the malicious, the 
selfish, the cowardly, the sullen, nor the dis- 
pirited, though two mortals talking together 
through the grating of a prison door may 
know the purest happiness. It only needs that 
their minds and spirits should be free and 
capable of being happy together; then con- 
ditions need not matter too much, nor count 
for a hopeless weight in the balance. Being 
that is not capable of happiness under all cir- 
cumstances, cannot be sure of it under any 
Since earthly joy is coterminous with life, 

STfie Sonifnfoti of 3op 

and life is in the moment and the hour, the 
protection of happiness needs to be a daily 
consideration. To create some little bit of 
beauty every day, even if it is no more than 
rearranging the flowers in a jar or making a 
habitation more bright and clean; to serve 
goodness every day by even the smallest act 
of courtesy and kindness; and every day to 
learn some fresh fragment of pure truth — 
these are lines of the necessary procedure for 
those who seek naturalization and growth in 
the Dominion of Joy. 

To enhance the loveliness of the world of 
form and colour as it lies about us, to widen 
the world of our knowledge and gain some 
helpfulness of wisdom and understanding, 
and above all to gladden and enlarge the 
world of sympathy and love where tender 
hearts have their tenure and questing spirits 
find their encouragement to hope: here is a 
threefold hourly task for the strongest of 
souls, yet not beyond the compass of the frail- 
est of mortals, and here is a magic talisman, 


with which the pilgrim artist or apprentice 
upon the highways or the byways of perfec- 
tion need never go far astray. 

But, O mortal, whenever it comes to you 
to dwell in that enchanted country, have a 
care, I beg of you, to cherish your good for- 
tune with incorruptible devotion. For if once 
you lose that mystic franchise, that impalpa- 
ble prerogative of joy, that warrant and pre- 
scription of glory, you will not find it easy to 
be regained. Do no violence to your sense of 
beauty, lest you imperil it; profess no belief 
which you do not really hold; cling to no 
creed which does outrage to your reason ; nor 
in any way offend against sincerity, lest you 
imperil it; and above all stifle no welling 
love within your own heart, nor dismay the 
priceless love of another, lest you imperil joy 
beyond repair. Such misdealing makes wan- 
derers and outcasts, self-exiled for ever from 
felicity, to range through a world to them for 
ever commonized and degraded, where there 


STfie Sonifnfon of 9off 

is neither glamour nor elation nor courage 
nor hope. 

The death of happiness in life is for every 
personality the insidious but fatal beginning 
of annihilation, the seed of infection and de- 
cay to which immortality must succumb. Joy 
must be for ever a part of the ideal, of which 
Mr. Santayana speaks so nobly, " He who 
lives in the ideal and leaves it expressed in 
society, or in art, enjoys a double immortality. 
The eternal has absorbed him while he lived, 
and when he is dead, his influence brings 
others to the same absorption, making them 
through that ideal identity with the best in 
him, reincarnations and perennial seats of all 
in him which he could rationally hope to res- 
cue from destruction." And it behoves all 
those who would perpetuate the sacred fire 
of life, to nurture through all hazards its 
glowing core of happiness. 


We have had The Seekers, The Spenders, 
The Spoilers, The Sowers, treated of and ex- 
plained in fiction, but as yet, so far as I know, 
no one has written of The Growers. 

The subject is a suggestive one. Even the 
title gives a fillip to thought. The growers 
are all those fortunate ones who, whether con- 
sciously so or not, have kept themselves truly 
and persistently in harmony with great na- 
ture. They have carefully cherished the mys- 
terious seed of aspiration, which is the secret 
of growth, neither allowing it to atrophy un- 
sown by hoarding it away in the dark closet 
of discouragement, nor impoverishing it 
through spendthrift dissipation. Normal 



growers are not priggish nor niggardly, 
neither are they ignobly wasteful of what is 
more precious than gold. They are endowed 
with the instinct, the impulse, the curiosity 
which only constant development and a meas- 
ure of lawful freedom can satisfy, and which 
must die if continually thwarted or repressed. 
The growers are all those natural children 
of the earth, whether simple or complex, who 
have cultivated the most fundamental princi- 
ples of responsible living, a capacity for im- 
provement and a hunger for perfection. And 
it is this trait of rational painstaking that 
lends the most sterling distinction to person- 
ality and differentiates leaders from follow- 
ers, helpfulness from dependence, and the in- 
dividual from the mass. 

For growers there can be neither stagna- 
tion nor decay. They are like thrifty trees in 
the forest, deep rooted in the common soil of 
life from which they spring, deriving nour- 
ishment from the good ground of sympathy, 
stimulation and refreshment from the free 


vie Jll«ltfti0 of ilft00ii«ltt9 

winds of aspiration, producing perennially 
the flower and fruitage of gladness and well- 
being proper to their kind and enriching the 
earth. They are the normal ones, at once the 
exemplars of all that is best in their species, 
and the perpetuators of all that is most val- 
uable. Between the growers of the human 
and the forest world, however, there is this 
distinction, that while the monarchs of the 
woods grow only to the limit of their prime, 
the spiritual and mental growth of mortals 
may be unarrested throughout a lifetime. 
That is the glory of our human heritage, and 
the encouragement to our faith in our own 
venturesome essay. The power of growth is 
our talisman against dismay, wherewith to 
confront old age with interest, circumstance 
with equanimity, and the unknown without 
fear. And perhaps it may be impossible to 
bring to the extreme bound of our lifetime 
any more warrantable satisfaction than to 
have been a grower all one's days. 
The growers are like the trees in that they 

make use of such means as they have to fur- 
ther their life, A tree may sprout in ground 
far from congenial to it, and among condi- 
tions that are often largely disadvantageous. 
Still it neither sulks nor despairs. It proceeds 
to grow with as much determination as if it 
were in the most favourable environment. 
True, its difficult position or inappropriate 
soil may hamper or mar its growth, so that it 
will never reach the fine perfection which 
belongs to its type, but it will grow never- 
theless. It does the best it can with its life, 
taking advantage of every possible opportu- 
nity, and making the most of whatever air and 
light and soil it can reach. 

Just so with human growers. They use 
their wits to cultivate their aspirations and 
powers. They employ to the utmost such 
powers as they have, and fret themselves not 
at all over faculties or talents or opportuni- 
ties that are not theirs. They are too busy 
benefiting by what is, to speculate idly on 
what might be, or to repine wastefully for 


Stie ^«ltfti0 of ^tvnonulttji 

what is not. Aspiration is the seed of growth, 
but it must be farmed carefully like any other 
crop. It is not enough to have lofty ambi- 
tions and ideals, if we do nothing about them. 
They must be put in practice or they will not 
contribute to growth. It is in making our 
ideals actual that we attain success in life, and 
experience growth of personality. Many a 
well-endowed mortal has failed for lack of 
effort, while less fortunate ones have reached 
splendid heights of achievement and growth 
by dint of cultivating the modicum of powers 
that belonged to them. Making use of the 
advantages at hand, to the very utmost in 
every moment and place, is the secret of the 
seemingly magic process of success. 

Thus the growers live in conformity with 
the universal trend of life, having a working 
faith that its mighty laws are friendly and 
benign. They overcome obstacles not by an- 
tagonism but by utilization. Having done 
their utmost to harmonize their living with 
immutable laws, they feel secure in the benefi- 


cence of life, and have no fear of destiny. 
Here is ground for a contentment quite unlike 
the dulness of stagnation ; a basis of buoyant 
well-being, and a perennial interest in all that 
influences development. Growers can never 
be hesitating, fretful, distracted, nor unlovely 
for long, since some new truth, some un- 
looked-for beauty, some fresh spring of emo- 
tion, is sure to touch their interest, refresh 
their sympathy, reinspire their enthusiasm, 
and requicken their whole being to gladder 
activity once more. To their ears it must al- 
ways sound like sober philosophy to say, 

** The world is so full of a number of things, 
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kbgs,'' 

since hardly anything can exist or happen 
that is not capable of being transmuted into 
food for growth in their wise conduct of life. 
There are many different ways of growth, 
spiritual, mental, material, — all beneficent, 
all leading to ultimate perfection when 
rightly followed, and all necessary for a sym- 


metrical development We all admit that it 
is hardly enough, in the history of any indi- 
vidual, that there should be a progress in ma- 
terial affairs alone. One may steadily im- 
prove one's worldly condition through life, 
and remain personally but little bettered at 
the close. The advancement in circumstances 
must be accompanied, pace for pace, by an 
advance in intelligence and feeling. Every 
day " to earn a little and to spend a little less," 
as Stevenson says, is good, proverbial philos- 
ophy, and if it be parallelled in matters of the 
mind and heart, becomes an invaluable word 
of wisdom. To grow a little more reasonable 
and a little more kindly day by day is an es- 
sential part of the truest prosperity. 

The material value of this salutary thrift 
goes without saying, and one need only recall 
the riches of character in one's most stimula- 
ting friends, to be convinced of its equal de- 
sirability in the less tangible realm of per- 
sonal culture and influence. 

To our complex human nature symmetrical 

srtie eitoiotvu 

growth seems the fittest ideal, — a balanced 
development that prevents the limitations of 
distortion and the friction of discord, and se- 
cures the freedom of poise. The lack of an 
ideal of symmetrical culture is to blame for 
such imperfect maturity as we find for exam- 
ple in persons who exhibit an overinsistent 
instinct for self-preservation, protecting and 
furthering their own animal indulgence, re- 
gardless of cost to others ; in those who are 
so greedy of mind that they neglect the care 
of practical things; and in those again who 
are overdeveloped emotionally through un- 
controlled avidity of sentiment and feeling. 

The best growers are those rare and fortu- 
nate mortals who have divined the incom- 
parable value of a symmetrical culture, and 
take constant care to utilize the avenues of 
growth in each of these three directions with 
equal solicitude. They know, or at least they 
instinctively feel, that any stultification in the 
development of one part of that composite 
miracle called personality means an inevita- 


ble injury to the other two, and that none must 
be preferred or forced singly at the cost of the 
others, but that they can only be brought 
nearer to the measure of perfection by being 
helped and freed and cultivated harmoni- 
ously. This is the law of perfect growth. 

Growers are the only people for whom we 
need feel no anxiety. If they are our friends, 
no matter for how long they may drop out 
of sight, it is certain that at our next meeting 
we shall not find them deteriorated nor 
worsted by life, whatever adversities or sor- 
rows they may have had to face. For all for- 
tune, both ill and good, is converted into 
means of growth by some secret chemistry of 
the soul, known (if not actually understood) 
by all personalities that are intelligently alive. 
However often they may change their address 
or their philosophy, they can never be worse 
off. They move their belongings from place 
to place, only to better their estate; they trans- 
fer their convictions and enthusiasms " from 


creed to larger creed" only to widen their 
outlook and refresh their faith. 

Again, growers are the only people who 
need never be afraid, — neither of misfor- 
tune, sorrow, defeat, unkindness, nor the 
shadow of death ; for deterioration is the only 
veritable evil that can befall a personality. 
There is neither injury nor fault that cannot 
be outgrown. But when we cease to grow, 
it is a calamity indeed, and just cause for hu- 
man dread. Fear and despair and anger and 
ignorance and worry and meanness are fatal, 
because they arrest growth, arrest spiritual 
and mental activity, even arrest digestion, and 
so are inimical to life and happiness. Any 
one of them may be truly called a partial 
death, since it causes a dissolution of some 
glad and natural emotion, beclouding the 
mind and involving the vital processes in 
temporary disaster. When the mind Is un- 
hinged by terror, or the heart is frozen by 
grief, the body can neither eat nor sleep, and 


our whole being is torn from its proper en- 
vironment of rational and kindly sensibility, 
beginning at once to wither and die like a 
wounded sapling or a broken flower. 

And who so well as the growers can afford 
to drift? They need have no fear of being 
carried out of their course, for they are in the 
main current of life, and not in an eddy or by- 
water. Whither the mighty river of existence 
may be carrying them, perhaps they never 
inquire. They only know that they are being 
borne onward by its titanic sweep, in some 
glad, free, lawful way that makes for ever- 
widening horizons of happiness. 




^Ilr^;l^a0t|ionetr ^Mtntt 

The modest and most essential virtues of 
the soul are like those old-fashioned flowers 
we used to love in dim half-forgotten sum- 
mers of the past. They sweeten the character 
that fosters them, and under the magic process 
of life yield extracts more potent than the 
subtlest perfumes. 

Can there be any one who does not remem- 
ber the pitchers and bowls full of pansies and 
stocks and mignonette, of roses and poppies 
and nasturtiums, of heliotrope and sweet peas 
and lilies-of-the-valley, in odorous darkened 
rooms of some old country house far away 


sue jgilufilnti of Hets^nslfts 

from the noise of town^^ among the elms and 
the hay-fields and die silver rivers. 

In early morning die windows, which had 
stood open all night to blessed cool of trees 
and stars and shrubbery and drenching dew, 
would be closed by some gende hand, and the 
green shutters drawn against die mounting 
glare of day, to retain in hall and parlour and 
dining-room somediing of die peace and re- 
freshment of die hours of sleep, — in die 
lovely twilight of diese most human sanctu- 
aries, — while the blazing midday of North- 
em summer bathed all the garden world in 
pure unmitigated golden heat. The only 
sound to break that almost solemn quiet was 
the chatter of purple martins in their dimin- 
utive houses above the lawn, or the sharp thin 
note of the yellow warbler, as hot and intense 
as the breath of noon itself, or perhaps the 
sudden dry clacking of a locust driving his 
fairy mowing machine under die spacious 

Indoors, in that grateful stillness, beads of 

icy water gathered on the brown stone jug on 
die sideboard, and the scent and colour of 
homelike companionable blossoms filled the 
dwelling with friendliness and charm. They 
were so still, so delicate, so fresh, so vivid, 
so eloquent of loving and sedulous care! As 
their fragrance gave a last touch of grace to 
the gleaming mahogany and silver of those 
hushed colonial rooms, die remembrance of 
them must perpetually haunt the chambers 
of die mind. 

Of all die personal qualities which fragrant 
virtues go to distil, the most complex, while 
seemingly the simplest and surely the most 
irresistible, is the old-fashioned essence we 
call loveliness. 

This fine quality, so easy to recognize yet 
so difficult to define, does not at once betray 
to the casual sense its component principles, 
and we are at a loss to realize exactly whereof 
it is made. Only after living and learning 
does die realization come to us that loveliness 
is distilled from a blending of kindliness, sin- 


sue ^«ltfii0 of netsotuafts 

cerity, and comeliness, — or as a poet might 
say, from die lilac of love, die iris of tnidi, 
and the carnation of beauty. 

The lilac may well stand for die emblem 
of kindliness. It comes so inspiringly with 
die opening of die year, when all the forces 
of die ground are awakening from their cold 
lediargy, and the beneficent earth is renewing 
her elemental life. In diat dme of universal 
joyance and exuberant hope, die lilac puts 
forth her generous beauty to the world, ma- 
king a paradise of many a dooryard in the 
spring. In our Northern spring-dme many 
loved flowers come early to die woods and 
garden beds, proclaiming widi dieir bright- 
ness diat the season of birds and leaves is here 
once more; and yet for all die encouragement 
of these welcome vanguards, there remains a 
chill in the air, a reluctance in the earth, a 
flinching in our skins, and a hesitation in our 
hearts. But when the blessed lilac blooms 
under die window, we are assured that the 
joy of summer is really at our doors, windows 


are thrown open, and a warm gladness takes 
possession of indoors and out. The lilac, like 
all true kindliness, is so abundant yet so unos- 
tentatious, so sweet yet so subtle, so common 
yet so fine, so exquisite and so hardy! It 
grows without coddling in the humblest spot, 
lavishing all its wonderful delicacies of .sceftt-^^^^ 
and colour, all its rich luxuriance of foliage, 
to glorify the poorest environment; and yet 
quite as becomingly will it deck the costliest 
table or the prettiest head with a touch of 
something untellably rare and precious. The 
children may gather it in armfuls without 
stint, while the wisest can never outlive the 
gladdening magic of its kindly charm. 

To the artist, the lover of orderly revela- 
tions of truth in shapes of beauty, the iris has 
always been dear for its stately blending of 
symmetry and grace. It lends itself more 
serviceably than any other flower to the exi- 
gencies of decoration and design. Its tripli- 
cate petals, symbolic of the threefold nature 
of all perfection and die regularity of law 


sue »ufilnti of HetSMSlfts 

ccrity, and comeliness, — or as a poet might 
say, from die lilac of love, die iris of truth, 
and the carnation of beauty. 

The lilac may well stand for the emblem 
of kindliness. It comes so inspiringly with 
die opening of die year, when all the forces 
^fthcexo^^ ' .,' • * ^^-^-^^^-^^.cpW, 
historic glory. Through immemorial Icg- 
endry its triune flower appears as the mys- 
tical symbol of sex, full of occult significance 
and implications of joyous life. As the com- 
mon blue flag, it decorates our wilding mead- 
ows with a shred of heavenly azure cast down 
upon the young and springing world of green, 
beguiling imagination on many a summer 
morning with a strange spell, — as of a supra- 
mundane loveliness, — which always attaches 
to blue flowers. It is the joy of the designer, 
giving itself so pleasingly to interpretation 
of his fertile fancy, and adding its eloquent 
symbolism to myriad devices in wood, in 
leather, in pigments, in precious metals and 
plastic clay. Like a good model, it is not only 


An ^Ut^^un^liwin essence 

a convenience, but an incitement and an aid 
to invention, adaptable yet original and sug- 
gestive, definite and calculable yet full of 
flowing grace. There must be in all triune 
forms, whether in nature or in art, a profound 
and subtle satisfaction to the mind, since no 
other form — neither duplicate, fivefold, nor 
multifold — so suggests the triplicate sym- 
metrical structure of^ all supreme beauty. 
The pure colour and delicate fragrance of 
the iris, widi its simple yet luxuriant sym- 
metry, conspire to make it a fitting symbol of 
sincerity and truth. 

To distinguish between the comely and die 
beautiful requires some nicety in the usage of 
words, though any of us will feel sure of 
knowing the difference, so long as we are not 
asked for definitions. And while we readily 
accede the supremacy to beauty, it is still true 
that a comeliness that is sincere and kind may 
transcend many unsound beauties. Comeli- 
ness, to be exact, differs from beauty and 
grace, combining something of each of those 


sue ^xKftiff of Hcrsonxlfts 

attributes^ and adding and emphasizing cer- 
tain distinctions and qualifications of its own, 
— serviceability, fitness, becomingness, fresh- 
ness, and above all a scrupulous wholesome- 
ness and freedom from taint. 

As a type of pure comeliness, what flower 
surpasses the carnation? To the rose no doubt 
must be accorded her unquestioned preemi- 
nence of beauty. Her name has been imme- 
morially a synonym for all that is most desira- 
ble and ravishing to human sense. She is the 
undisputed empress of the flowery world, 
magnificent and unrivalled. But next to her 
consider the carnation's claim to popular sov- 
ereignty. Consider their masses of opulent 
bloom, their long delicate bluish leaves and 
stems, their stimulating cleanly perfume, their 
variegated colour as they nod in homely clus- 
ters in their well tilled beds, or sway with 
cheery sufficiency from the simplest vase, and 
declare whether any of their sisters are more 
comely than they, or can better satisfy that 
craving for sensuous refreshment which the 



An «m^iF«8||fone9 Cssmte 

loveliness of flowers has helped to engender 
in us, and must for ever help to slake. 

Loveliness is not perfection. It requires 
only human possibilities, — kindliness of 
hearty frankness of disposition, fitness of per- 
son. It is warm, impulsive, quite fallible, 
often sad, but never unkind. It does not even 
affect omniscience, content if it can but secure 
an acceptable sincerity and fair dealing in 
the conduct of life. It does not pine for flaw- 
lessness, if it can but have faithfulness, pains- 
taking, good cheer, and growth toward a 
noble dream. 

As old-fashioned flowers are simpler and 
commoner than many ovcrfostered favourites 
of the hour, and yet never lose their perennial 
essence of loveliness, but radier become en- 
riched and endeared as associations and mem- 
ories gather about them, so these old-fashioned 
qualities of kindliness, sincerity, and comeli- 
ness, which go to make up personal loveliness, 
are not really superseded by any amount of 
" temperament," " esprit," ** style," or what- 


ever characteristic may be in current vogue 
in the jargon of die hour. The quality of be- 
ing " chic," for instance, does not include all 
that comeliness implies; a friend may be 
"sympatico" (that admirable and delightful 
trait!) and yet not have all the tonic charm 
comprehended in kindliness; and no charac- 
teristic of the mind can ever take the place of 
human sincerity. The newer modes, whether j 
in flowers or graces, cannot supplant the old I 
essentials. Fashions change, but the things 
that fashion life are unchanging. 

One is often surprised at finding beauty 
where there is neither soul nor intelligence 
at all commensurate with the physical seem- 
ing, and in such instances one instinctively 
hesitates to use the adjective " lovely," as sy- 
nonymous with " beautiful." For loveliness, 
as we habitually think of it, contains odier 
attributes besides physical ones, being made 
up of a modicum of beauty, actuated by a 
generous heart and inspired by an incorrupt- 

362 j 



iblc loyalty. This subtle composite charm 
does not necessarily affect us in the same way 
that surpassing beauty does, suddenly over- 
coming us by its sheer supremacy and often 
leaving our riper judgment bewildered and 
void. Loveliness pleases and satisfies without 
reservation or reaction. While it is within 
the power of beauty to astonish the senses, 
only loveliness can delight the soul and con- 
tent the mind as well as charm the eye. 

To the lover of beauty in old days Aphro- 
dite was immortal and divine, and remnants 
of her liberal cult may still lurk in our pagan 
blood, haunting the imagination at times with 
an alluring spell. The immemorial rites of 
that worship are not to be revived. Our skep- 
tic days call for a more rational religion. 
Meanwhile we credulous and practical mod- 
erns, still not altogether unmindful of endur- 
ing loveliness, might recall the three immor- 
tal Graces, offer them sane devotion under 
their names of Comeliness, Sincerity, and 


sue g$l^lnu of SPevsonslfts 

Kindliness^ and enroll ourselves in the order 
of the carnation, the cult of the iris, the fel- 
lowship of the lilac. 

What mainly distinguishes these essential 
ingredients of loveliness is that they are all 
attainable practical virtues, rather than ab- 
stractions, — human rather than divine attri- 
butes. Kindliness is practical love, sincerity 
and comeliness are die every-day forms of the 
truth and beauty which we think of as eternal. 
And loveliness itself is a most human essence, 
rather than an angelic one. We endow celes- 
tial beings in fancy with shining, preeminent, 
and supreme perfections, but reserve the liv- 
able properties of this-world loveliness for 
^ the children of mortals. 

Gentle, warm and generous natures lay a 
sorcery upon us with a look or a tone, or trans- 
port us by a hand-touch beyond the confines 
of sorrow and dismay, while far more per- 
fectly beautiful but less loving and under- 
standing beings leave us indifferent and un- 
moved. Time as it passes betrays the loveless 


An dl9^iFM||foiie9 essence 

spirit and the unlighted mind by unmistak- 
able signs; the eyes grow hard, the mouth 
unsmiling or mean^ die brow sullen or super- 
cilious, and the general mien becomes furtive, 
dejected, or querulous. But the kindly spirits- 
who put love and care into the daily practice 
of life, increase in loveliness as the years go 
by, and age only lends them a more indubita- 
ble and magic comeliness. Their beauty is 
not the mere insensate mask of appearance, 
whose flawless hues must pale, its texture 
change, its lines droop, beginning to wilt even 
in die moment of maturity, like a soulless 
flower; it is the subde and registering simu- 
lacrum of the ever-growing intelligence and 
spirit, whose loving thoughts and feelings it 
reveals from moment to moment in valuable 
and memorable expressions of loveliness. 
The plainest features grow more comely with 
years, through habits of loveliness, — by be- 
ing made continually the instruments of sin- 
cere and kindly lives. 
Of all die qualities that can enlist our en- 


Sfie ^«ltfti0 of Hetttmialfts 

thusiasm for a personality^ sincerity is surely 
the noblest and most rare. It is only through 
sincerity that mortals can attain anything like 
a permanent tenure of happiness, and come 
to breadie that paradisal air in which fearless 
intelligences dwell. Sincerity is to conduct 
what truth is to science, what unselfishness is 
to religion, what devotion is to art, the core 
upon whose soundness all other worth de- 
pends. As a single error may invalidate a 
whole fabric of reasoning, so a drop of insin- 
cerity may vitiate all the effect of an attract- 
ive character, nullifying beauty, weakening 
love, and involving the personality and all its 
relationships in disaster. It is sincerity that 
supplies the preservative ingredient in love- 
liness, that keeps it stable and sweet under all 
conditions and for any length of time, keeping 
its goodness from the insidious inroads of sad- 
ness, and its beauty from the deterioration of 
futility and disappointment. 

That comeliness should be so potent a part 
of loveliness is natural enough, since it is the 


An «l9^iFa0tifoiie9 essence 

senses after all that supply the nourishment 
of our dreams and suggest the trend of our 
ideals. It is useless to delude ourselves with 
the belief that the spiritual life needs nothing 
more than virtue for its sustenance, and may 
be lived in a state of fatuous beatitude quite 
removed from actualities. Such a dreary and 
fantastic conception of existence could only 
have been devised by the dark rabid dieology 
of the middle ages, that midnight of man's 
reason. Strange as it seems, diere are still 
here and there fanatical minds which can de- 
cry the excellence of beauty, keeping alive die 
mistaken old cant which declares it to be an 
evil and a snare. This is no more than an 
ascetic and fanatical pose, without any real 
ground of conviction ; for we must all enjoy 
the aesthetic stimulus of beauty and feel the 
religion of its innocent good, unless we are 
perverted or mad. 

But the instinct of humanity is never to be 
defrauded for long. The sternest Puritan 
must have felt in his heart diat his hatred of 


9|ie g$lufiinu of ^tVMvMlt» 

beauty was traitorous to honest goodness and 
at enmity with benign trudi. Is not the deep 
unhappiness in die lives of bigots a proof of 
the unnatural and monstrous falseness of their 
doctrines? We need to be constantly trained 
and exhorted to an honest and generous mo- 
rality, but comeliness is an unquestionable 
good which we must instinctively approve 
and admire. No healthy intelligence can be- 
lieve that disregard of physical welfare can 
be other than injurious and crippling to men- 
tal and spiritual growth. Our intuitive ad- 
miration of the beautiful is too deep and pri- 
mordial to be other than wholesome and legit- 
imate, and productive of salutary results. 
And we must make ourselves happy by free- 
ing our minds from the unfortunate notion 
that somehow personality is to be miracu- 
lously endowed with angelic perfections, 
through vigorously neglecting to cultivate the 
perfections that are possible to it here and 
now, — by getting rid of the delusion that 
our instincts are evil and our senses corrupt, 


and that the aspirations and purposes of tHe 
soul and mind can be best served by meagre, 
inadequate bodies. 

The practical cultivation of gladdening 
and helpful loveliness needs no extraordinary 
wealth, no exceptional opportunities, no fa- 
voured habitat or environment, no peculiar 
advantage of air or season. In any garden 
of the spirit its growth may spring and flour- 
ish with modest rapture and invincible pow- 
ers. Comeliness glorifies a cotton gown as 
enchantingly as it does a Paris " creation." 
One may wear clothes worth a ransom, and 
still be unlovely, even uncomely, — dowdy, 
mean, undesirable, and ashamed. It costs 
very little money but considerable nicety to 
be comely, — to be clean, cared for, and in 
keeping with just requirement. To be sin- 
cere and kindly is equally inexpensive mone- 
tarily, and more costly in unselfish effort and 
wisdom, yet not unattainable for the least of 
us even in a confusing and distracting world. 

And always before us within constant touch 

sue ^sKftiff of ^tvnonulits 

of enjoyment is that enheartening and suffi- 
cient reward for all eflforts in self-culture, — 
a sense of our own small share of unequivocal 
though unobtrusive success and contentment; 
always about us, the loveliness of life, its 
blossoms flowering in choicest and humblest 
places, fragrant and perfect, and distilling for 
our rapture the potent essence whose perva- 
sive magic makes Eden everywhere. 



No more misleading definition was ever 
formulated than the familiar one which de- 
clares genius to be an infinite capacity for 
taking pains. That is the one thing that ge- 
nius is not A capacity for taking pains may 
be a characteristic of every conscientious 
worker, but is in no way an essential distinct- 
ive trait of genius. 

The very essence of genius is its spontaneity, 
its inspiration, its power of instant and inex- 
plicable coordination and achievement. Its 
processes are incomprehensible even to itself. 
It cannot take pains, for it is an immediate 
force like gravity, and works without effort 
or consciousness of exertion. It is indeed an 


infinite capacity, but it can only have been 
confused with patient painstaking because in 
the eternal course of creation infinite patience 
and infinite desire must be supposed to be 
parts of infinite wisdom. Among men genius 
is more often spasmodic, uncertain, fluctua- 
ting as the tide and erratic as the wind, sus- 
ceptible to stimulus and amenable to sugges- 
tion and education, but intolerant of routine, 
impatient of restraint, and accommodating it- 
self with difliculty to the stereotyped require- 
ments of conventional toil in a workaday 

The woes of genius are proverbial. And 
the many annoyances, misfortunes, and dis- 
tresses which usually beset its most marked 
possessors are charged unreasoningly to the 
inherent character of genius itself. But this 
is surely an error. It is not the unfortunate 
man's genius that involves him in unhappi- 
ness, but his lack of a rationally ordered and 
well balancing education adapted to his ex- 
ceptional needs. Far from being the cause 


of his undoing, his genius is often the only 
source of satisfaction and happiness he has; 
and its exercise and influence afford him the 
only refuge possible to his otherwise chaotic 
and ill-regulated life. 

The dictates of genius are never unsound. 
Its tremendous urge is a veritable breath of 
the life-spirity infinitely wise, benign, and 
powerful, making only for good, for beauty, 
for enlightenment in the life of the individual 
and in the life of the race. It can only seem 
chaotic or malign when perverted by faulty 
art, when thwarted in exercising itself, when 
stultified and harried by unfortunate environ- 
ment or inharmonious training. Genius often 
seems mad only because its possessor is inade- 
quately educated for handling his treasure, in- 
capable of arranging any modus vivendi be- 
tween himself and the world. Small wonder 
that the bungler of such a blessing should be 
distracted and distraught by such failure. 

The precious gift of genius is not so infre- 
quent as is said. Not all genius is in the realm 


of fine art or in public or famous or conspic- 
uous activities. It may show itself in the sim- 
plest service of humanity, and all genius is 
richly valuable and exquisitely pleasing. The 
genius of motherliness, that soothes and sus- 
tains the whole weary world! The genius of 
merrymaking that suns out the dark places 
whenever it comes near I The genius of un- 
selfishness that gilds the dullest effort I The 
genius of making happiness out of the unlike- 
liest odds and ends saved from the wreckage 
of our disappointments! The genius of inge- 
nuity, — how well balanced it must be, how 
modestly it works its miracles! The many- 
sided genius of home-making and child-rear- 
ing! The sturdy genius of dependability! 
Unacclaimed, unappreciated, unappraised, 
but never wholly unrequited, these bits of 
life-spirit work against unreasoning obstruc- 
tion and confusion to save the world! Who 
has not some genius, and what might it not 
grow to, if it were happily educated! How 


better can one serve the world than through 
the happy bent of one's genius? 

Genius is the spontaneous coordination^ of 
inspiration, aspiration, and execution, and re- 
quires for its perfect development the finest, 
most harmonious culture of the spirit, the in- 
telligence, and the senses. Why not, there- 
fore, so educate every one in the art of living 
as to establish avenues through which genius 
could free itself and develop to the incalcu- 
lable good of the world? Genius must be 
educated and supplied with adequate comple- 
mentary capacities in order that it may be 
saved from torture and frustration; and the 
artist, that is to say, every one of us, should 
be so educated that genius may emerge and 
find an unobstructed vent for its purpose and 





tancee to be I 

^ 1 

This book is under no circums 
taken from the Bnild 




^ 1 




*„rin <«• 


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